Yellowknife's Wren Acorn can claim to be Canada's fastest 14-year-old girl after taking part in her first Canadian Junior Speed Skating Championship this past week.
Wren finished 22nd overall at the prestigious national short track event in Saguenay, Quebec, and was the top performer of four 14-year-olds taking part.
This is the first of five years of eligibility for the Yellowknife teenager, who also produced the best results at the meet for any speed skater based west of Ontario.
"I’m overjoyed with how it went, honestly," Wren told Cabin Radio. "It was a really, really good competition.
"All it was supposed to be was a learning experience, and I think that’s exactly what it was. Some good accomplishments and good things in every race."
'Who I want to be'
Canadian Juniors sees skaters aged 14 to 18 racing against each other, with four places at the World Junior Championships on offer. The country's leading teenaged skaters take part.
Wren finished 18th in a 32-strong field in the 1,000m distance, 25th over 1,500m, and 22nd in the 500m sprints. "She worked her race plans to perfection," said NWT Speed Skating coach Shane Clark.
"You don’t have kids there who are messing around," said Wren. "You walk into the dressing room and it’s pretty-much silent, everyone’s just focused on their next race. Tensions were high for a lot of the kids, with the chance to get to Worlds, which is a huge deal. There were no weak links anywhere.
"It was great to be able to go to this one and not have it be a tremendous deal for now, when there’s not a lot of pressure. It was exciting watching older skaters.
"That’s who I want to be in a couple of years – I want to be among the top people going to Worlds."