First-day fall has St. Rose seeking success rest of way

Keanan St. Rose went for an unceremonious slide Friday at the Olympic Oval in Calgary.
Not the debut the 16-year-old from Prince George had in mind for his first-ever crack at the Canadian junior (under-19) short track speed skating championships.
St. Rose fell in his 1,500-metre qualifying run and his day at the races was done – a disappointment for the former Prince George Blizzard Speed Skating Club member but certainly not a disaster.
The slate will be wiped clean today when he returns to the ice to race in the 500m event, with another chance to show his speed in the 1,000m races set for Sunday. Only the best two results are considered. The three-day event will determine the national junior team (four males, four females) to represent Canada at the world junior short track championships.
“His first day wasn’t stellar, to be honest, but the overall is based on two distances so it’s OK that it happened on the first day,” said Lorelei St. Rose, Keanan’s mom and Team B.C. co-coach for the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer. “It’s certainly not what you’re looking for so he’s obviously disappointed. The silver lining is you can have a race like that and day like that and it won’t impact your overall standings.”
St. Rose moved to Calgary with his family in July and joined the Olympic Oval program. He’s the only male B.C. skater to qualify for the Canadian junior championships. Only the top 32 male and top 32 female skaters in Canada are invited. Last year he was ranked 33rd and just missed the cut.
St. Rose, who turns 17 in January, is not forgetting his B.C. roots. In February he and former Blizzard skater Craig Miller will be part of the B.C. short track team at the Canada Games in Red Deer. Miller, who turns 17 on Christmas Day, also made the move to Calgary this year, following in the footsteps of long track specialist Eric Orlowsky, 18, who is in his second year living in the Stampede City. Orlowsky and Blizzard skater Kieran Hanson of Prince George are on B.C.’s long track team for the Games.
Lorelei St. Rose coaches her 13-year-old son Ryan in the Grizzly Speed Skating Club in Calgary and also works full time at the Olympic Oval as competitions co-ordinator. She’s the primary organizer of this weekend’s Canadian junior meet.
“It just kind of worked out, the lady who was in the position left and they posted it for when I was arriving, so I put my hat in the ring and got the job,” said Lorelei St. Rose, who served as an apprentice short track coach for Team B.C. at the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George.
Her husband Auton, a family physician, divides his working time between Prince George and Calgary. Keanan’s rising prominence as a speed skater is what triggered their move to the home of the national speed skating team training centre.
“We were driving all the time and we needed the access and the training environment,” Lorelei St. Rose said. “If the kids don’t get what they need as they move up they fall behind. Keanan trains with a great group, he’s in Stage 2 full time but he’s been training with Stage 3-4 and he’s getting twice as much ice. They go from having 5,000 laps a year to having 10,000 laps a year. We don’t have that access at the club level.”
Lorelei St. Rose and Duane Swan of Prince George will coach B.C.’s team in Red Deer. The short track competition is in the first week of the Games, from Feb. 16-22.

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