Alex Boisvert-Lacroix beats Gilmore Junio & skates to this season's best time in the world in the 500m at Long Track Fall World Cup Selections

Calgary, October 22, 2016 – One day after Gilmore Junio skated to this season's best time in the 500m at the international level, Alex Boisvert-Lacroix of Sherbrooke, QC lowered that mark, Saturday, on the next-to-last day of the Long Track Fall World Cup Selections held at Calgary's Olympic Oval. For his part, Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, BC, continued his return to competition with a fourth-place finish in the 1000m.

On the women's side, Marsha Hudey of White City, SK, came up with a repeat performance of Friday's result as she won the second 500m event of the weekend. Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa, ON, tallied her third win of the competition, this time in the 1000m.

In the second men's 500m of the Fall World Cup Selections, Alex Boisvert-Lacroix beat Gilmore Junio of Calgary, AB, by one hundredth of a second thanks to a time of 34.50 seconds, therefore taking away from his teammate the title of fastest skater in the world so far this season in the men's 500m. On Friday, Junio set what was then this season's fastest time at the international, level, i.e. 34.51 seconds.

On Saturday, Junio skated to exactly the same time on his way to second place. Laurent Dubreuil of Lévis, QC, was third in 34.58.

“First off, I have to say I had a dream pair,” said Alex Boisvert-Lacroix, alluding to his race partner on Saturday, Richard Maclennan of Sault Ste. Marie, ON. “I was on the outside with a good guy, a big guy. I had an amazing draft on the back stretch. It was a good race overall, but with a bad corner entry on the second corner. Other than that, it was a fast race. I’m really glad I've skated the fastest 500m in the world so far this season.”

Aside from Junio, Boisvert-Lacroix and Dubreuil, William Dutton of Humboldt, SK, Alexandre St-Jean of Quebec City, QC, and Christopher Fiola of Montreal, Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough, QC, all came within the time standard of 35.12 they needed over the weekend to be eligible to qualify in this distance for the first World Cup of the 2016-2017 season.

Fiola accomplished that feat, Saturday, by improving on his personal best in the 500m for a second day in a row, lowering it from 35.17 to 34.86.

“It's awesome!,” said Fiola, who won three medals at the 2016 Long Track World Junior Championships. “Waking up this morning, I was thinking I would need a huge race just to qualify. At the start I was just looking down, not thinking about if I was going to do it or not. I was just thinking push, push, push.”

Fourth place finish for Denny Morrison in the 1000m
In the men's 1000m, Vincent de Haître of Cumberland, ON, won it in 1:08.12, followed by Gilmore Junio (1:09.02). Denny Morrison was fourth in 1:09.508, only three thousandths of a second away from third-place finisher Laurent Dubreuil.

Until Saturday, De Haître held the fastest time in the world in the 1000m so far this season, which he lowered to 1:08.12, but Finland's Mika Poutala came up with a time of 1:08.06 early in the day at the Oval International, a competition held at the same time as the Fall World Cup Selections at Calgary's Olympic Oval.

“Today was a good day to work on execution, track pattern and strategy,” pointed out De Haître. “My goals for the World Cups are the same as they always are – to step on the podium and represent my country.”

De Haître, Junio, Dubreuil and Morrison all achieved the time standard of 1:09.53 needed to be eligible to qualify in this distance for the first World Cup of the 2016-2017 season.

This weekend, Morrison is skating in his first sanctioned competition in 18 months, after having a motorcycle accident in 2015 and suffering a stroke last April.

“I'm feeling happy right now, especially about being in the hunt with the top guys. These are some of the best sprinters in the world,” noted Morrison, who won a silver medal in the 1000m at the 2014 Olympic Games. “Vincent (de Haître) beat me by 1.5 seconds and he is going to be on the podium on the World Cup Circuit this year. With the perspective I have from yesterday and based on where I am regarding my recovery, it feels good to be in the hunt like this. My opener is just not there, I’m a second behind these guys. The snap is also missing, so if I can get that back, things will fall into place.”

Alexandre St-Jean of Quebec City, QC, who was second in national rankings in this distance last season, forfeited from the competition due to an illness. He will be able, however, to make a bye request to earn a spot on the Canadian World Cup team.

Same podium in the women's 500m
The second women's 500m of the weekend led to an identical top-3 result as Friday's race in that distance, as Marsha Hudey won it again. Hudey, who had set a new personal best on Friday, came up with a time of 37.77.

Noémie Fiset of Quebec City, QC, skated to a second-place finish while lowering her personal best by 12 hundredths of a second thanks to a time of 38.39. Kaylin Irvine of Calgary, AB, was third (38.62).

Following the weekend's two 500m races, Hudey, Fiset and Irvine all came within the time standard of 38.66 to be eligible to qualify in this distance for the first World Cup of the 2016-2017 season.

“I’m excited,” said Noémie Fiset, who won her first career medal on the World Cup circuit last season. “I felt really good, it felt like in practice. I knew I could do it. I’m excited that I did what I came here to do.”

Blondin wins the 1000m, Hudey sets new personal best
Later on, in the women's 1000m, Marsha Hudey lowered her personal best by close to two tenths of a second thanks to a time of 1:15.69 to finish second. Ivanie Blondin (1:15.64) of Ottawa, ON, came up with her third victory of the competition, while Irvine (1:15.86) was third.

“I’m really surprised with my 1000m, but excited because things are going in the right direction,” said Hudey. “This race was consistent with my 500m from yesterday. However, it was a struggle coming down the last 50m and I was just trying to give everything in that race.”

As for Heather McLean of Winnipeg, MB, who collected three bronze medals on the World Cup circuit last season, she had to forfeit because of a viral sinus infection. She will be able, however, to make a bye request to earn a spot on the Canadian World Cup team.

Béatrice Lamarche of Québec City, QC, improved on personal bests for a third day in a row. On Saturday, she lowered her mark in the 500m (39.40) and the 1000m (1:16.99), the latter by over two seconds.

Other members of the Long Track National Development Group, Jordan Henkelman (35.16 in the 500m) of Calgary, AB, and Tyson Langelaar (1 :11.36 in the 1000m) of Winnipeg, MB, also set new personal bests on Saturday.

The Long Track Fall World Cup Selections will conclude on Sunday with the presentation of the 1500m events starting at 11 am, local time, and the mass start races as of 2:30 pm.

The list of skaters who will be named on the Canadian team for the first ISU Long Track Speed Skating World Cup stage of the season, to be held Nov. 11-13 in Harbin, China, will be announced over the next few weeks.

More details and the complete schedule are available on Speed Skating Canada’s website at www.speedskating.ca.

TODAY’S RESULTS
500m (2) W
1. Marsha Hudey (37.77)
2. Noémie Fiset (38.39)
3. Kaylin Irvine (38.62)

500m (2) M
1. Alex Boisvert-Lacroix (34.50)
2. Gilmore Junio (34.51)
3. Laurent Dubreuil (34.58)

1000m W
1. Ivanie Blondin (1:15.54)
2. Marsha Hudey (1:15.69)
3. Kaylin Irvine (1:15.86)

1000m M
1. Vincent de Haître (1:08.12)
2. Gilmore Junio (1:09.02)
3. Laurent Dubreuil (1:09.505)

About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for competitive long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, the association is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial branches representing more than 14,000 individual members, and counting. SSC believes that sport is an apprenticeship for life and prizes respect for others, integrity, excellence of effort, as well as a safe, healthy environment. SSC recognizes and values its outstanding volunteers who give freely of their time and expertise. It also celebrates the 63 Olympic medals won by Canadian athletes since 1932, as well as the coaches, officials and other dedicated individuals who helped them on their journey.

SSC is proud to be affiliated with partners that share the same vision and values including our premium sponsors Intact Insurance and Samsung, as well as our funding partners, the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, and WinSport Canada.

- 30 -

For information:
Kerry Dankers
Long Track Program and Communications Coordinator
Speed Skating Canada
Email: kdankers@speedskating.ca
Phone: 403-589-8960
Website: www.speedskating.ca 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSC.PVC
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SSC_PVC 

Patrick Godbout
Communications & Media Relations Manager
Speed Skating Canada
Email: pgodbout@speedskating.ca
Phone: 514 213-9897
Website: www.speedskating.ca 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSC.PVC
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SSC_PVC