At thirteen years old, Yellowknife speed skater Wren Acorn is no stranger to championship titles.
Acorn is one of six skaters – four from the territory’s capital – who will be representing the NWT at the CanWest Championships in Saskatoon next weekend.
For the past two years, Acorn has been the overall champion in her age group (11-14). In those years, she also took home all four individual titles at the competition – eight in total – and is hoping for repeat success.
“I do really love competing and I am looking forward to racing,” Acorn told Moose FM between training sessions for territorials, which start at the Multiplex on Saturday.
Acorn and her teammates – all between the ages of 13 and 15 – will face off against athletes from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, British Columbia and Yukon between Mar. 18 and 19.
Despite this being her third year at the competition, Acorn is a mixture of anxious and excited coming into it.
“I’m trying not to get cocky or overconfident,” she said.
“There are some girls in my age group these past couple of years who weren’t so far behind me, so I think there will probably be some good competition this year.”
Her coach Shane Clark agrees. He believes Acorn is one of the ones to watch.
“Wren’s growing, she’s maturing as a skater and she’s really bringing a solid thought process into every race,” Clark said.
“It becomes a lot more than just speed as you get older.”
Next year will be Acorn’s first full year on the junior circuit competing with older athletes, though she’s already got a few championships under her belt.
“Next year she’s going to hit the junior circuit running,” Clark said. “She’s a very well-rounded athlete and person. She’s got a lot of choices ahead of her and it’ll be fun to watch her grow.”
Could one of those choices include the Olympics?
“She says they are,” Clark said. “She’s drinking the right water and she works hard.”