Kristina Groves wins third gold at speed skating single distance nationals

CALGARY – Kristina Groves of Ottawa earned her third gold medal Monday at the Canadian singles distances long track speed skating championships with a victory in the women’s 5,000 metres at the Olympic Oval.

Groves clocked seven minutes and 01 .02 seconds for the victory with Christine Nesbitt of London, Ont., second in 7:14.99 and Nicole Garrido of Edmonton third in 7:19.37. Groves also won the 3,000 and 1,500-metre races this week and ranked first all around as well.

‘’I was in the midst of some training coming into this competition so I didn’t expect to do this well,’’ said Groves. ‘’It was nice to see the things that I’ve been working on in practice come through for me today. I was happy with how I built my speed in the 5,000.’’

Other national champions crowned this week in women’s competition were Shannon Rempel of Winnipeg in the 500 and Nesbitt in the 1,000.

In the men’s 10,000 which concluded the four-day competition, Lucas Makowsky of Saskatoon clocked a personal best 13:34.70 for the win. Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., was second in 13:41.65 and Steven Elm of Red Deer, Alta., third in 13:42.52. Morrison ranked first all around.

‘’It wasn’t really my goal to come in here and win this race,’’ said Makowsky. ‘’But I stuck with my plan throughout the race. I held it together really well and my splits were very even. I didn’t know how my time was comparing to the others in the race but I felt I was going to be in contention when I saw my splits.’’

Other crowned champions this week in the men’s side were Jeremy Wotherspoon of Red Deer in the 500 and 1,000, Morrison in the 1,500 and Arne Dankers of Calgary in the 5,000.