Spring Speedskating Championships
San Diego, CA - March 25, 2000     T   P   R   S
San Diego Street Elite

SDSE's Spring Speedskating Championships took place on Saturday, March 25, 2000. Around 45 skaters participated in the third inline race produced at the San Diego Velodrome in the past year. Most competitors were from California and Arizona, but a few travelled from elsewhere in the United States and even from abroad.

The weather was sunny and warm with temperatures in the mid 60s. The day's events began with a flying 200m Sprint for each skater. The top 8 in each class then competed in Match Sprint Heats, a head-to-head elimination race with the winner advancing to the next heat. After lunch skaters competed in a variety of mass-start events chosen from a grab bag of races borrowed from track cycling.

We welcomed our new entrants in the Beginner/Intermediate class, most who were competing in their first skate race. Jeff Herman of Anaheim was the overall champion, winning four out of the five events. Peter Swiatkowski of San Diego managed to beat Jeff in the Unknown Distance.

Mike Miller (Miller) was the most outstanding skater in the Advanced class. He won every event for a perfect score. Jim Eliason, one of SDSE's newest racers, took second place in the three afternoon races and overall for the day. Dennis Cummings (Skate Pro) picked up points in all events for a third-place total overall. The Advanced class was the largest of the four skill categories, which resulted in a long and exciting Miss & Out.

But the Women's class was the most competitive category with lots of strategic maneuvers and many close finishes. The top three overall placed identically in the mass-start races. Nicole Mathews (Sonic), at age 12, was the overall champion. Stacey Eldridge (Mile Hi) and Mechele Busby (Skate Pro) finished second and third, respectively. The Hare & Hounds race didn't last very long as these competitive women blasted around the track.

The Pro/Elite class was another competitive category as points were distributed among all entrants. Ed van Leuvan (Sonic) took the latter laps of the Snowball race strategically, but with risk, to seal the win. His performance has increased drastrically over last year. Ed surprised all of the other skaters by finishing first overall in the class. Just behind in the point total was Josh Kelly (Rapidos), who has also improved dramatically. In third place was Neal Lucy (BSI), who has participated in every race at the Velodrome.

The Spring Speedskating Championships was the inaugural race in the Southwest Team Challenge 2000. This friendly series was the idea of Mark Gaylor of Predator Speed and is endorsed by six inline clubs in the southwest. A large trophy will be passed around to the team who scores the most points at each event in the series. Competition in the name of fun, this is an effort to attract skaters to out-of-town races. SDSE was the winner of the first event.

SDSE's Spring Speedskating Championships were produced by the Southern California Velodrome Association in its second year of developing a skating program at the San Diego facility. We would like to thank Clif Bar and Fitness and Speedskating Times for supporting us again. We extend special thanks to Explore Wheels for providing most of the prizes at the race.

The SCVA and SDSE plan to reproduce this event again in the future. This summer marks the return of an 8-event Tuesday Night Racing Series on a biweekly basis starting May 30. Full details, including complete results from the Spring Speedskating Championships, are available on the SDSE web site at http://www.sk8.org.

Howard Yeh


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