Sunday, February 19, 2006
131 Skaters Online
Ohio Speedskating Tour, Marion
   Rollarama Arena Marion, Ohio
   Sunday, January 16, 2005

"Oldest continually running speedskating league in the U.S."
327 Earl Avenue
Washington Courthouse, Ohio


MARION, OHIO -- In its sixtieth season of racing, the Ohio Speedskating Tour entered the year 2005 with a bang.  Thirty miles north of the state captal of Columbus, a ninety-five meter mid-sized speedskating oval was utilized to hit some impressive speeds.  In the elimination heats alone, we saw the Senior Mens division with skaters clocking in times of 47.95 seconds in the five-hundred meter sprint.  Speedskaters found the racing oval to be above average however narrow when entering the corner at nearly twenty-five miles per hour.  "We will try the short sprint races today on the oval track [NIRA] and see how it goes.  If it is well adopted, we will opt to run the medium distances the next meet in Tallmadge," remarked Robert Penrod, president of the Ohio tour.  Several divisions in both novice and standard speedskating races had enough skaters to merit elimination rounds.  Heart pounding 'electronica' music riled up the crowd in the warm-ups before the racing began. 

In the novice speedskating, Dennis Taksar (Cleveland, Ohio) claimed the senior mens title followed by Jeff Wojcik (Pittsburgh, PA) and Jeff Bolin (Columbus, Ohio).  Freshman boys racing was also fantastic with Brandon Hosier (Cincinnati, Ohio) outlasting closest competitor Joseph Benjamin (Findlay, Ohio).  Both with very similar names to confuse the announcer, Stefanie Ries (Pittsburgh, PA) edged Stefanie Rice (Cincinnati, Ohio) both representing Miami of Ohio in the senior ladies division.  Kavitha Bagavandoss (Akron, Ohio) demolished her competition in the Freshman girls division winning that and her two lady relay event.  In a statement relased by the Ohio Speedskating Tour, Kavitha was recently named a 'Rising Star' in the Ohio Speedskating Tour. 

The big boys and girls came out to play in the standard speedskating races.  Keith Ellsworth (Canton, Ohio) claimed victory in the Senior Mens division followed by Travis Smith (Columbus, Ohio) and Gary Bowman (Akron, Ohio).  Bowman, a perrenial champion in the late 90s has recently resurged as a leading contender in the Ohio Speedskating Tour.  Gianna Guerino (Sharon, PA) skated to gold in the Senior Ladies division followed by Kira Heeley (Cleveland, Ohio) and Stefanie Ries (Miami Univ).  In the Sophomore ladies racing action, Sheena Freeman (Columbus, Ohio) answered back to Jessica Grove's (Dayton, Ohio) win last month with a first place finish on the speedskating oval.  Both athletes have battled neck and neck this season towards the end of the season championship events. 

The next tournament for the Ohio Speedskating Tour will take place February 13th in the greater Akron area at Rocky's Arena in Tallmadge, Ohio followed by the Cincinnati tournament to be held at the Skatetown USA Arena in March.

OHIO SPEEDSKATING TOUR                                                          
       Standings entering Akron

1)  Marysville, Ohio ; 1180
2)  Newark, Ohio ; 910  
3)  Hermitage, Penn. ; 830
4)  Marion, Ohio ; 665
5)  Cincinnati, Ohio ; 645
6)  Findlay, Ohio ; 365   
7)  Elyria, Ohio; 340
8)  Michigan Thunder ; 275
9)  Akron, Ohio ; 190
10) Philadelphia, PA; 185
11) Miami Univ/Oxford, OH ; 165
11) Detroit, MI; 165
11) Dayton, Ohio ; 165         
14) Washington Courthouse, OH; 150
15) Pittsburgh, PA; 130
16) Georgia ; 110
16) Springfield, IL; 110
18) West Virginia ; 105
19) Mansfield, Ohio ; 85
20) Chicago, IL; 50
21) Ohio Velocity ; 5

About the Conference
The Ohio Speedskating Tour is one of the oldest speedskating leagues in the United States. Founded in 1944, the tour is a registered non-profit under the name of �Ohio Buckeye Speed League�. The Ohio Speedskating Tour is a registered program of U.S. Roller Sports, the national governing of competitive roller-skating in the United States recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee. In the vested interest of the State of Ohio, the Ohio Speedskating Tour (OST) is interested in developing in-line skating athletes to represent Ohio in the annual U.S. Regional and National Championships. The administration of the tour consists of an Executive Board that convenes annually to finalize a schedule, national regulations to implement, and other issues to further Ohio Speedskating.

©NEO Speed Skating and