Calgary’s Arne Dankers breaks Canadian record at Canada Post All Around Championships

Arne Dankers of Calgary broke the Canadian record in the men’s 5,000 metres on Tuesday at the Canada Post All Around Championships long track speed skating competition.

Dankers, 24, clocked 6:26.19 to eclipse the previous mark of 6:26.29 set by Dustin Molicki of Calgary in 2002. World junior champion Justin Warsylewicz of Regina was second in 6:32.21 and Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., third in 6:38.16. Both Warsylewicz and Morrison are 19-years-old.

After three of four distances Morrison is first overall followed by Warsylewicz and Steven Elm of Red Deer, Alta.

Kristina Groves of Ottawa put a golden polish on a superb first half to her season on Tuesday with a victory in the women’s 3,000-metres at the Canada Post All Around Championships long track speed skating competition.

Groves completed the gruelling race in a personal best four minutes and 05.61 seconds. Tara Risling of Medicine Hat, Alta., the current overall leader, was second in 4:15.18 and Michele d’Amours of Ste-Foy, Que., third in 4:16.91.

“I had set a personal best in the 1,500 and 5,000 this year so I had a challenge today,” said Groves, an eight-year national team member who has broken through this year with a gold and three fourth place finishes so far this season on the World Cup circuit.

“I still have mixed feeling about the race because I never really got into a good rhythm and it didn’t feel right. I started really fast which is different for me and boy did I pay for it in the end.”

Groves says her performances so far are beyond expectations.

“I’m really thrilled with it,” said Groves, 27. “It’s a wonderful way to start the season and a great accomplishment for me to get on the podium internationally after all these years. It’s great to see those consistent results and I’m proud of it.”

Besides Canadian titles, the speed skaters are also competing for spots for the final two World Cup events this season and the Continental Championships set for January 8-9 which is a world championship qualifier.

Competition continues through to Wednesday.