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Calgary Olymic Oval – CALGARY, AB – The final leg of the three part Short Track Western Elite Circuit (WEC) is set to take place this weekend as the University of Calgary Olympic Oval will play host to WEC #3 – Winterfest.  This four day event will include men’s and women’s races at the 500m, 1000m and 1500m distances in two categories: U17 and Open. 

The WEC has the primary goal of providing quality racing opportunities for the developing Junior and Neo-Senior athletes.  The circuit’s previous two events were held in two venues: WEC #1 – Oktoberfest which took place at the Calgary Oval in October and WEC #2 which was held at the Richmond Oval in December.  Competitor’s rankings are based on their point totals from Oktoberfest (which equals 20% of their WEC total) and WEC #2 – Richmond and WEC Winterfest in Calgary which each represent 40% of the competitors WEC overall score.

The top 3 points leaders participating this weekend in the women’s open division are: Hee Won Son of Banff, AB; Heather Clarke of Whitehorse, YK and Hannah Clarke of Yellowknife, NWT.   Son is a junior skater and currently leads both the open and junior ladies competition after solid performances in both Oktoberfest and Richmond.  In the junior ranks she is followed closely behind by Calgary’s Abbey Young and Edmonton’s Cheyenne Goh.

The men’s open division is currently led by Ontario’s Sam McEachran, Norwegian skater Einar Degenstein and junior Hayden Mayeur.  Mayeur leads the junior division and is followed closely by Marco Schumann of Saskatoon, SK and BC’s Cormac Chui.

This weekend’s races will also include National Development team skater Courtney Shmyr and National team skater Jamie MacDonald.  MacDonald is fresh off her first ever individual World Cup Medal after a bronze medal finish last week at World Cup Dordrecht.

Also participating will be Elite Athlete pathway Stage 4 skaters Jacob McKenzie and Keegan Christ.  Christ currently sits in sixth in the overall rankings after taking the men’s open title at WEC #1 – Oktoberfest.  That weekend, the native of Regina, Saskatchewan battled with McKenzie for the Oktoberfest crown and it was his consistency all competition which helped him to take a close win over his Oval teammate. 

Ladies and Mens Superfinal relays will be held on Saturday & Sunday – fields will be based off the rankings from the 1000m.  Points accumulated in the Superfinals will not count towards the competitors points for the WEC rankings.

For all the updates on the action down at the Oval (and maybe even some #JPPenguin pics) be sure to follow us on Twitter or Instagram (@TheOlympicOval) and “like us” on Facebook! (Facebook.com/TheOlympicOval)

Please contact Olympic Oval Communications and Community Relations Specialist Ryan Ohashi for more information.  For information throughout the 2015/16 season, visit www.oval.ucalgary.ca

The Olympic Oval, located on the University of Calgary Campus, is a world class speed skating and high performance sport facility dedicated to the pursuit of excellence and health and wellness for all. Home to the Fastest Ice in the World™, 294 world records have been set at the Oval in both long and short track speed skating since opening day in 1987. Aside from playing host to numerous speed skating competitions every year, the Oval also offers high performance training, public skating, and public running to be enjoyed by residents, visitors, and students alike. The facility acts mainly as a winter sport establishment, but opens its doors as an ice-out venue during the spring months. Always working to maintain the facility’s legacy as being “The Best Ever”, the Olympic Oval continues to push to be a world leader in technology and facility improvements.  

#OvalChampions – We are entering the Olympic Oval’s Season of Champions with a plethora of events leading up to Oval Finale / Canada Cup #4 on March 17-20.   The Oval will play host to WEC #3 – Winterfest (Feb.18-21); RU-Fast (Feb. 27-28) and Olympic Oval Grand Prix (Mar.11-13).