Park City Speed Skating Club prepares to face international competition in Kearns | ParkRecord.com

Park City Speed Skating Club prepares to face international competition in Kearns

Park City Speed Skating team has started its season and is preparing for one of its biggest tournaments – the Desert Classic Short Track in Kearns on Aug. 25. Park City Speed Skating club president Travis Cella said the competition will draw a large portion of the speed skating world to the Utah Olympic Oval, including many recent Olympic competitors.

The Park City Speed Skating Club is not without its own stars.

"We are a small club but we hit way above our weight class," said Cella.

Will Valentine, 16, made the Olympic trials last year and was champion of the Junior B Men group at the 2018 National Short Track Age Group Championship.

Casey Dawson, 17, helped set three national records at the World Junior Speed Skating Championships last season and skated with the U.S. junior national and, at times, the national team.

Dylan Woodbury, 13, took second in his age group at nationals and set an Illinois state record in his competitive division at the 2018 NorthBurke Open for the 777-meter race, finishing with a time of 1:16.63.

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Lilly McKay, 14, is one of the club's up-and-coming skaters. She reached junior nationals last year in her third year of competitive skating.

Alex Cella, 10, Travis' son, will be attempting to qualify for the junior nationals in all four speed skating events: the 222-meter, the 333-meter, the 500-meter and the 777-meter.

Cella said The Desert Classic, which will be streamed online, will have a strong international presence, including clubs from the Netherlands, South Korea, Japan and China.

"The Chinese will be there in force, because Beijing is coming up in three years," Cella said, referring to the 2020 Winter Olympics.

After the Desert Classic, the Park City Speed Skating Team will compete in AmCup 1, also at Kearns on Oct. 6, then will travel to several regional events and smaller club races, and then cap the season with the Short Track Age Group Nationals in Madison, Wisconsin in March 2019.

For more information on the Park City Speed Skating Club go to facebook.com/ParkCitySpeedSkatingClub.

For more information on the Desert Classic go to http://www.teamusa.org/US-Speedskating/Events/2018/August/25/Desert-Classic-ST