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James McCarthy/NNSL photo
Dalton McLeod, left, leads a pack including Luke Dizon and Lachlan MacGillivray, both of Yellowknife, during the junior boys 1,000-metre race of the Arctic Winter Games speedskating trials in Yellowknife on Jan. 24.

Seigna Hult-Griffin admits her march to TeamNT wasn’t as nerve wracking as some people’s.

“I was actually lucky, there was four girls trying out and they take four,” she said. “So it was low stress.”

Seigna is one of four Inuvik speed skaters to make the cut for TeamNT’s run at the Arctic Winter Games coming up March 15 to 21 in Whitehorse.

Trials for the games were held Jan. 23 yo 25 in Yellowknife. Hult-Griffin was named to the team’s junior females division with her brother Stryden named to the junior boys.

Seigna singled out her brother for helping her get to the big race.

“I’d like to thank my brother Stryden Hult-Griffin because he’s helped and coached me the most,” she said. “And Jon Paul Picek for taking over coaching this year.”

Seigna added in spite of the less stressful trials, she was focusing on keeping her game up for the real trial in a month.

James McCarthy/NNSL photo
Seigna Hult-Griffin, right, drafts behind Mikayla Lafferty of Fort Simpson during the junior girls 1,000-metre race at the Arctic Winter Games speedskating trials in Yellowknife on Jan. 24.

“Our training programs were already preparing us for racing in general, prior to qualifying for the games,” she said.

Also joining Seigna at the games are Dalton McCloud, who flew all the way up from Calgary to try out for the junior males, and Kaleb Picek, who was already busy self-critiquing his performing but made the cut for the juvenile males.

“I felt like I could have done better, but I still made the team, so…” said Picek. “I started training with my friend who does speed skating in the gym, plus practicing on the ice.

“I think I’ll be doing more off-ice training. Things like biking and leg work.”

He put a shout-out to his old coach Paul MacDonald for his help in training him over the years.

For both skaters, this will be the latest lap in their sport, which has kept them occupied for much of their lives. Both took part in the games in 2018 as speed skaters. Picek noted he had been at it for eight years and Hult-Griffin noted she made regular trips to Whitehorse for basketball tournaments.

James McCarthy/NNSL photo
Stryden Hult-Griffin has the upper hand on Sylvain Rourke of Yellowknife during the junior boys 1,000-metre event of the Arctic Winter Games speedskating trials in Yellowknife on Jan. 24.

Regardless, both said they were excited to be representing the territory.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun!”

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Eric Bowling

A lover of knowledge and adventure, Eric Bowling jumped at the opportunity to write for the Inuvik Drum and to see the world from a totally different vantage point. He has covered just about everything...

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