First leg of EVO Western Elite Circuit complete!
By Ryan Ohashi
Calgary, AB (9/30/18) - The Olympic Oval wrapped up the first leg of the 2018 EVO Western Elite Circuit on September 30th in Calgary. A furious weekend of racing saw the 500m, 1000 and 1500m distances skated, points collected by the skaters in the two age categories from this weekend will be totaled along with any points attained in the EVO WEC Finals (Winterfest) in February to find the EVO WEC Champions.
Saturday began with the conclusion of the 1500m races as Team China dominated the A Finals with a sweep of both the MNS and WMNS podiums. On the women’s side Huang Lan, Kexin Sun and Men Juashuang finished atop the podium, narrowly edging out the Canadian pair of Genève Bélanger (Montreal, QC) and Maggie Beynon (Barrie, ON) who finished 6th. The men’s event saw Yiwen Wang, Yuchen Zhong and Guodong Wang take the top spots with Ontario’s Ethan McKinley-Young taking 4th place as the Top Canadian in the A Final.
The always entertaining 500m saw Hee Won Son lead a trio of Canadian skaters in the A Finals. Kexin Sun of China finished second but was followed closely by Beynon and Bélanger. Finally it was Vincent Girard who brought home a 10,000 point win in the men’s 500m. He was followed closely by teammate Neithan Thomas and Chinese Skater Yiwen Wang. Marshall Shupe made it 3 of 4 Canadians in the Top 4.
The day rounded out with the Relay heats in which the Oval team of Girard, Ethan McKinley-Young, Mitchell Schrum and Roger Fulton sent a message with a dominant win going into Sunday’s relay finals.
Sunday marked the final day of the first event in the EVO Western Elite Circuit and brought with it the 1000m races and the relay final. Team China was able to hold off Canadian Maggie Beynon in the Women's A Final with Huang Lan, Kexin Sun and Men Junshuang completing the podium. Beynon was the only Canadian to qualify for the A Final and was able to add points to her solid weekend total what included a 6th place finish in the 1500m and a 3rd place finish in the 500m. Beynon's three day total of 14797 points places her currently in 4th place overall and the Top Canadian coming out of the weekend.
On the Men's side an all Team China final resulted in Jian Song taking the win over his teammates Ji Gao and Hao Sun while the winner of the B Final was Roger Fulton, the Top Canadian in Sunday's 1000m.
The Top Outstanding Male and Female skaters for this weekend were awarded certifiates and Oval Prizes. The Outstanding Female was China's Kexin Sun and the Outstanding Male was her Chinese teammate Yiwen Wang.
As mentioned the EVO Western Elite Circuit (WEC) includes two events, EVO WEC #1 (Oktoberfest) this weekend and the EVO WEC Finals (Winterfest) February 1-3, 2019.
This first event featured several of the Olympic Oval trained Canadian skaters, as well as a large contingent of international skaters from China, Japan and Singapore. The field was over 100 skaters and included 22 Internationals.
The EVO WEC has the primary goal of providing quality racing opportunities for the developing Junior and Neo-Senior athletes. At the end of the competitions the rankings will be split into two separate age categories – Junior and Senior.
The entire event was webcast LIVE and archived on the Olympic Oval YouTube channel. Be sure to follow along on our Social Media channels on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Youtube @TheOlympicOval! #EVOWEC
Huge thank you goes out to EVO Skates for their continued support of the Olympic Oval and our #OvalDriven athletes.