Friday, February 03, 2023


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Sports Article
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Restine Skates His Way to World Championship in Holland
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Like his two siblings, Dayton Ristine first strapped on roller skates at the age of two. As a five-year-old, he won his first inline skating national championship in the

Dayton Ristine, a Milford Twp., resident packs for the

Netherlands where he will compete in the World Roller

Speed Skating Championships.

USA Roller Sports Tiny Tots Division.

            Next month, Ristine will represent his country at the World Roller Speed Skating Championships in the Netherlands. Between July 1-7, he will compete in the Junior Division in a variety of track and road races in the towns of Heerde and Arnhem.

            Ristine will complete in eight races during the competition, which includes a 300 meter time-trial, separate 500 and 1,000 meter sprint tournaments, a 10,000 meter points and elimination race, a 100 meter sprint tournament, a one-lap circuit, 10,000 meter points race and a 20,000 meter elimination race.

            "I just want to do my best," he said.

            In May, the 14-year-old Milford Township resident – who is coached by both his parents – became the youngest American to qualify for the team by earning the overall track championship at the National Banked Track & Road Championships and Team USA Trials in Colorado Springs, Col.

            "Dayton skated incredibly well," said his mother Stacy. "I think he surprised himself. We knew it was possible for him to qualify for the national team, but we weren't sure because he would be going up against older kids."

            According to Stacy, her son's competitive nature allowed him to excel against competitors two and three years older. She said Dayton has worked exceptionally hard to make himself a world class skater, adding that he is always training at the gym or riding a bike.

            "Dayton is not the type of kid who plays video games or watches television," Stacy said.

            According to Dayton, his drive to skate faster comes in part from within. "I have to be on my feet," he said "I don't like sitting down."

            Dayton Ristine attributes his success to the likely combination of talent and genes. Both his parents grew up with competitive skating. Stacy specialized in short track racing, while his father John picked up the sport around the age of eight or nine.

            "The genetics certainly don't hurt," Stacy Ristine said.

            Dayton -- along with his older sister and younger brother – spent numerous hours at a rink in Hatfield, where their mother worked as the manager. According to Stacy, each of her children began skating as young toddlers.

            "The earlier a child starts, the easier it is to pick up," she said.

            Dayton Ristine, who was walking within 14 months and skating without holding someone else's hand one month after his second birthday, played roller hockey as a small child. He said by the age of eight or nine, he stopped being scared after figuring out how safely stop.

            "When Dayton was younger, he didn't trust his speed," Stacy Ristine said.

            On the track, Dayton displays calmness and patience, according to Stacy Ristine. She coaches her son in the sprints, while John Ristine helps him strategize for the longer road races.

            The sprints – which range in distance from 500 to 1,000 meters on a 200-meter banked track, resemble short track speed skating the Winter Olympics and can include up to seven competitors – often facilitate contact, according to Stacy Ristine.

            "Normally, there's a lot of grabbing on the first turn," said Dayton, who eventually wants to transition to short track ice speed skating.

            According to Stacy Ristine, her son has learned to avoid those collisions which can lead to a disqualification.

            "Some of the kids don't skate smart," she said. "Dayton remains very relaxed."

            However, Dayton Ristine prefers the longer races, which span 25, 50 and 75 laps. He said the battle for spacing during the final laps is often fierce.

            "I like doing something for a long time," he said. "There are times in a race like that where it gets hard. But I just snap out of it and reject the pain."







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