Clara Hughes earns gold, Arne Dankers silver at all around worlds qualifier

Clara Hughes of Glen Sutton, Que., won the women’s 3,000-metre race while Arne Dankers of Calgary added a silver in the men’s 5,000 on Saturday in opening day action at the North American all around world championship qualifier at the Olympic Oval.

In the women’s 3,000, Hughes clocked four minutes and 09.24 seconds for the victory with Kristina Groves of Ottawa second in 4:10.14 and Catherine Raney of the U.S., third in 4:11.78.

“I tried some new things today and some worked and some didn’t,” said Hughes, the former star cyclist who became the only Canadian to win medals at both a summer and winter Olympic Games two years ago in Salt Lake City with bronze in the 5,000.

“Still it’s good to know that I can do pretty good times coming off some hard training. I want to finish this competition on a strong note and head to the worlds with confidence.”

After two of four distances, Groves holds the overall lead at 82.450 points, Cindy Overland of Kitchener, Ont., is second at 83.435 and Hughes third at 83.690. Overland was the top Canadian in the 500 finishing second to American Sarah Elliot.

The event is not a worlds qualifier for the Canadian women who pre-qualified their four spots at the national championships earlier this month. The world team members are Groves, Hughes, Overland and Tara Risling of Medicine Hat, Alta.

However for the Canadian and American men, the competition is a qualifier with the top-six overall (maximum four per country)at this weekend’s competition earning a berth to the all around world championships set for February 7-8 in Hamar, Norway.

After two of four events, the Americans have the top-five spots led by K.C. Boutiette at 75.748 points, Shani Davis at 78.898 and Chad Hedrick at 76.643. Justin Warsylewicz of Regina, the 18-year-old senior national all around champion, is the top Canadian in sixth at 77.614.

Boutiette won the men’s 5,000 clocking 6:32.48 to edge Dankers second at 6:32.57. Davis was third in 6:34.58. Olympic silver medallist Derek Parra of the U.S., was sixth.

“I wasn’t too confident heading in but I wound up with a pretty good race,” said Dankers, currently seventh overall. “The key for me was my technique and plus I had a very good pair in Chad Hedrick (of the U.S.,) who made it battle right until the finish. It was fun.”

Competition ends Sunday with the men’s and women’s 1,500 and the men’s 10,000 and women’s 5,000.

Saturday’s results at the North America all around world championships qualifier on long track speed skating at Calgary (all distances in metres):


Men


500


1. Chris Callis, U.S., 36.34

2. Shani Davis, U.S., 36.44

3. K.C. Boutiette, U.S., 36.50

4. Derek Parra, U.S., 36.86

5. Jay Morrison, Fort St. John, B.C., 37.04

6. Chad Hedrick, U.S., 37.18

7. Steven Elm, Red Deer, Alta., 37.26

8. Dustin Molicki, Calgary, 37.37

9. Jamie Ivey, Ottawa, 37.45

10. Clay Mull, U.S., 37.61


5,000

1. K.C. Boutiette, U.S., 6:32.48

2. Arne Dankers, Calgary, 6:32.57

3. Shani Davis, U.S., 6:34.58

4. Chad Hedrick, U.S., 6:34.63

5. Justin Warsylewicz, Regina, 6:36.54

6. Derek Parra, U.S., 6:39.91

7. Jamie Ivey, Ottawa, 6:46.66

8. Chris Callis, U.S., 6:47.49

9. Jay Morrison, Fort St. John, B.C., 6:48.92

10. Steven Elm, Red Deer, Alta., 6:49.99


Overall (after two of four distances)


1. Boutiette, 75.748 points

2. Davis, 75.898

3. Hedrick, 76.643

4. Parra, 76.851

5. Callis, 77.089

6. Warsylewicz, 77.614

7. Dankers, 77.767

8. Morrison, 77.932

9. Ivey, 78.116

10. Elm, 78.259



Women


500


1. Sarah Elliot, U.S., 40.58

2. Cindy Overland, Kitchener, Ont., 40.66

3. Tiffany Hughes, Kingston, Ont., 40.68

4. Kristina Groves, Ottawa, 40.76

5. Eva Rodansky, U.S., 40.99

6. Maria Lamb, U.S., 41.06

7. Tara Risling, Medicine Hat, Alta., 41.80

8. Catherine Raney, U.S., 41.81

9. Michelle D’Amours, Ste-Foy, Que., 41.88

10. Clara Hughes, Glen Sutton, Que., 42.01


3,000


1. Clara Hughes, Glen Sutton, Que.,, 4 :09.24

2. Kristina Groves, Ottawa,, 4 :10.14

3. Catherine Raney, U.S., 4 :11.78;

4. Cindy Overland, Kitchener, Ont., 4 :16.76

5. Maria Lamb, U.S., 4:18.39

6. Kristine Holzer, U.S., 4:21.02

7. Sarah Elliot, U.S., 4:21.56

8. Tiffany Hughes, 4:22.70

9. Michelle D’Amours, Ste-Foy, Que., 4:23.14

10. Katie Krall, U.S., 4:28.35


Overall (after two of four distances)


1. Groves, 82.450

2. Overland, 83.453

3. Clara Hughes, 83.690

4. Raney, 83.773

5. Lamb, 84.123

6. Elliot, 84.173

7. Tiffany Hughes, 84.463

8. D’Amours, 86.136

9. Rodansky, 86.471

10. Holzer, 86.963