Hannah Clark and Wren Acorn

Two Yellowknife skaters reach their first National Championships

NWT Speed Skating congratulates Yellowknife duo Wren Acorn and Hannah Clark on qualifying for their first National Championship appearances.

The two skaters took part in last weekend’s National Qualifier at Calgary’s Olympic Oval – a four-day event in which skaters from across the country compete for positions at national junior and senior events.

Twenty-three-year-old Clark, who trains at the University of Calgary, finished ninth overall in a field of 60 participants.

Acorn, 14 years old and making her debut at this level, finished 30th in the same field of 60.

Those results see both skaters advance to their respective national junior and senior events. Acorn will race in her first Canadian Junior Championships in Saguenay, QC, next month, in her first year of eligibility. She joins Clark and Jill Gilday among NWT skaters to have recently reached the Junior Championships, though doing so at her first attempt as a 14-year-old is exceptional.

“Wren joins a line of successful NWT performance skaters,” said coach Shane Clark. “That’s an amazing accomplishment, doing it in her first year of eligibility.”

Clark moves on to January’s Canadian Senior Selections, in Sherbrooke, QC, having capped her weekend with an appearance in the National Qualifier’s 1,000m A Final – where she placed fifth.

“Hannah had a great weekend,” said Shane Clark, her father. “She had a really good Thursday and even though she probably didn’t get to where she wanted on Friday and Saturday, she still had amazing results for ninth overall.

“That qualifies her for the Canadian Senior Championships and it’s the first time Hannah has qualified for those.”

Clark will be facing Canada’s top two-dozen skaters, outside the five named to the Canadian Olympic team, at that event.