Capital City Speedskating Championships draws from across Missouri

Alexa Pfeiffer/News Tribune photo: 
 The "Gold Seekers" group gets ready for the start of its race Saturday morning, Dec. 2, 2023, in the 27th Annual Capital City Speedskating Championships at the Washington Park Ice Arena.
Alexa Pfeiffer/News Tribune photo: The "Gold Seekers" group gets ready for the start of its race Saturday morning, Dec. 2, 2023, in the 27th Annual Capital City Speedskating Championships at the Washington Park Ice Arena.


When they weren't on the ice Saturday, speedskaters yelled encouragement to participants in the 27th Annual Capital City Speedskating Championships at Jefferson City's Washington Park Ice Arena.

Twenty-six competitors participated in event sanctioned by U.S. Speedskating. Each competitor earned points toward the championship event later in the season.

Derek Estes, the incoming president of the Jefferson City Club, said the event was one of many meets ongoing internationally.

"There are a couple meets that are going to go on in St. Louis later this year," Estes said. "We are looking at one in Champaign (Illinois) and Chicago, as well."

The sport is made up of a small and really supportive community.

The championship was conducted as an ability meet -- all skaters are grouped by ability for racing based on times and age.

"We have a race that has a 5-year-old and a 12-year-old, and everybody in between. It's just based on ability," Estes said. "How long have they been skating? How proficient are they?"

Times, rankings, and awards are only determined within each ability group. Most skaters were to participate in six races. Preliminary heats with finals were conducted when possible. Points were awarded within the groups, and if multiple skaters had the same cumulative number of points after racing finished, ties were broken by the better finish of the first distance skated for the ability group.

"It all distills (down) to what is their time," Estes said. "It is intended to make it as competitive for each individual as possible."

Mark Krassinger of the Gateway Club said his family had a 10-year-old and a 6-year-old skating. He said his family deeply supports speedskating -- and the children continue to enjoy it. His daughters are fourth-generation speedskaters on their mother's side, Krassinger said.

This time of year, the girls practice a couple times a week and attend as many meets as they can. Six-year-old Alaina Krassinger said she's "kind of" fast.

"It's fun to race other people. Other people, they're fast and I'm fast, too," she said. "It's fun to skate."

  photo  Alexa Pfeiffer/News Tribune photo: From left, Reed Wilkerson, Graham Shapiro and Stella Shapiro race around the track Saturday during the 27th Annual Capital City Speedskating Championships at the Washington Park Ice Arenag. The Shapiros are members of the Gateway Club in St. Louis.
 
 
  photo  Alexa Pfeiffer/News Tribune photo: Carter Hausman and the "Super Stars" group compete Saturday morning at the Capital City Speedskating Championships at the Washington Park Ice Arena.
 
 
  photo  Joe Gamm/News Tribune photo: Sawyer Nemeth of the Gateway Club in St. Louis dashes around the Washington Park Ice Arena on Saturday morning. The Jefferson City Speedskating Club hosted the Capital City Speedskating Championships and about 26 skaters participated.
 
 
  photo  Alexa Pfeiffer/News Tribune photo: Isabella Moreno, left, and Samuel Naeger, both from St. Louis, sprint toward the finish line Saturday at the Washington Park Ice Arena in the Capital City Speedskating Championships.
 
 
  photo  Joe Gamm/News Tribune photo: Skaters prepare for their races Saturday morning during the Capital City Speedskating Championships at the Washington Park Ice Arena.
 
 
  photo  Ken Barnes/News Tribune photo: Reed Wilkerson battles Naavya Dwivedi from St. Louis at the Capital City Speedskating Championships Saturday at Washington Park Ice Arena.
 
 
  photo  Ken Barnes/News Tribune photo: Caleb Estes chases Graham Shapiro from St. Louis in the Captial City Speedskating Championships on Saturday at the Washington Park Ice Arena.
 
 
  photo  Ken Barnes/News Tribune photo: Joselyn Zumwalt, left, chases down Mary Kate Estes in the Capital City Speedskating Championship on Saturday at the Washington Park Ice Arena.
 
 
  photo  Ken Barnes/News Tribune photo: Mary Kate Estes, left, and Jocelyn Zumwalt represent Jefferson City in the Capital City Speedskating Championships on Saturday at the Washington Park Ice Arena.