Kristina Groves continues to dominate at Continental Qualifiers in Salt Lake City

Kristina Groves (Ottawa, ON) skated to victory for yet another day at the Continental Qualifiers held at the Utah Olympic Oval. Groves surpassed all of her competitors to win the ladies’ 1500m and 5000m today.

Tailing Groves was Brittany Schussler (Winnipeg, MB) who came in second in the 1500m. Kirsti Lay (Medicine Hat, AB) took 5th place, while Nicole Garrido (Edmonton, AB) finished in 6th place. In the ladies’ 5000m, Brittany Schussler came in third and Garrido was 4th; missing the podium by only 0.85 seconds, Kirsti Lay ended in 7th place.

Justine L’Heureux (St-Tite, QC) and Clara Hugh (Winnipeg, MB) did not skate today because of illness.

On the men side, Jay Morrison (Fort St. John, BC) came in third place in the 1500m with a time of 1:46.61. Following Morrison was Steven Elm (Red Deer, AB) with a time of 1:46.68. Jeff Kitura (Langley, BC) came in 5th while Lucas Makowsky (Regina, SK) ended 6th. Mathieu Giroux (Montreal, QC) was 9th and Peter Martel (Calgary, AB) ranked in 12th.

In the 10000m, Mathieu Giroux came in 4th finishing 9.46 seconds behind the leader, the American Chad Hedrick. Jay Morrison was 5th, finishing 6.23 seconds behind his teammate. Steven Elm clocked in at 13:55.51 to finish 6th, Lucas Makowsky took 7th place and Jeff Kitura ended in 11th.

“ It’s not surprising to see Groves and Schussler do so well. They have managed their races well and gave solid performances. But we had a bit a difficulty with certains skaters been sick,” explained National Team Coach Marcel Lacroix. “ To this regard, I have to mention Kirsti Lay’s performance today. She gave all she had to secure Canada’s fourth place at the World All Round Championships. She battled for a place that belonged to a fellow teammate. That’s an selfless act. Jay Morrison also surprised us this week-end as a new skater on the circuit. He skated really well.”

The next important international meeting in long track will be the World Sprint Championships in Moscow next week-end.