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Jewtraw All Around attracts top talent

February 14, 2018
By CHRISTIE SAUSA - Correspondent , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - Amid the 2018 Olympic Games celebrations in Lake Placid, the Lake Placid Speed Skating Club hosted the Charles Jewtraw All Around Championships, its last metric meet of the season, Feb. 10-11. The event boasted nearly 30 speed skaters from the United States and Canada, some of which will no doubt represent their country in future Olympic Games.

It's particularly appropriate that the Jewtraw All Around Championships fell during the Olympic Games since the event's namesake Charles Jewtraw, of Lake Placid, won the first gold medal at the first Winter Olympics in 1924, in the 500-meter distance.

The All Around included the 500-, 1,000-, 1,500- and 3,000-meter distances. A 5,000-meter race was scheduled but was not contested at this meet.

Article Photos

Rebecca Simmons, a coach for the Lake Placid Speed Skating Club, races to the overall women’s title during the Jewtraw All Around Championships last week in Lake Placid.
Provided photo — Christie Sausa

Despite difficult ice and weather conditions, the racers triumphed at the meet, most skating personal best times as compared to other Lake Placid meet times.

Claire Liew, originally of Canada but now representing the Adirondack Speedskating Club, won her age group, but feels she still has work to do before competing in the US Long Track AmCup Final March 2-4 at the Olympic Oval in Salt Lake City, Utah.

"I felt like my performance was good technically but I could've made some improvements," Liew said.

The overall female winner of the meet was Rebecca Simmons of Saratoga Springs. She is a member of the Saratoga Winter Club, but also coaches for the Lake Placid Speed Skating Club and competed in the US Long Track Olympic Trials in January.

"(My skating) was solid and my times were consistent with past performance," Simmons said. "I was happy with my 3K since I finally broke five minutes outdoors."

The winner of the overall male title was Alex Brewer, of Los Angeles, who is training in Lake Placid with Tom Miller of the Adirondack Speedskating Club. Brewer comes from a diverse sports background of figure skating, short track, hockey, velodrome cycling and inline speed skating and has been using his time in Lake Placid to work on his long track skating after only skating long track a few times in the past two years.

"I felt that my performance this weekend was really good, I managed to cut time off all my distances as well as improve my technique," Brewer said. "My transition has been very smooth and I am really thankful for Tom and Claire who make this transition easier, because the technique is a hard thing to get at first. Living in California, access to a long track is usually seldom, but every time I can skate on a long track oval, I enjoy it immensely."

Both Simmons are Brewer will also be competing at the AmCup Final in Salt Lake City, Utah in a few weeks.

The next, and last, local speed skating event of the season will be the rescheduled Lake Placid North American Challenge marathon Feb. 24 and 25. For more information, visit the Lake Placid Speed Skating Club website at



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