Marie-Andrée Mendes-Campeau & Rémi Beaulieu Crowned Canadian Champions

Sunday was an action packed day to mark the end of the Canadian Short Track Championships at the Maurice-Richard Arena in Montreal. With two victories today, in the 1000m and 3000m, Marie-Andrée Mendes-Campeau (Montréal, QC) was crowned Canadian Champion on the women side, while Rémi Beaulieu’s (Alma, QC) win in the 1000m ensured him the overall title even before he went on to finish 6th in the 3000m.

The first events of the day were the 1000m races. There were five women in the final, Mendes-Campeau, who also won the 1500m on Friday, took the gold in 1:32.798 in a very close race to the finish with Marie-Ève Drolet (Laterrière, QC) who crossed the finish in 1:32.799. Kamloops’ Jessica Hewitt, winner of yesterday’s 500m race, won the bronze medal with a time of 1:33.129, almost a full second ahead of Kristy Shoebridge (Cambridge, ON) and Kassandra Bradette.

On the men side, it was a busy final with six athletes, Rémi Beaulieu put together a beautiful race to take the win in 1:26.466, closely followed by teammate Marc-André Monette (Pointe-aux-Trembles, QC) in 1:26.727. Medicine Hat’s Liam McFarlane, winner of yesterday’s 500m, gets the bronze medal (1:26.954).

The top 16 skaters of the competition went on to race the 3000m. The women were also fighting for the overall Canadian Championship title, as Mendes-Campeau, Hewitt and Drolet were all very close in the rankings at that point. Mendes-Campeau executed her race plan perfectly and crossed the line in 5:35.077, for her third gold medal of the competition and the overall title. Hewitt (5:35.165) and Drolet (5:35.276) followed her in that order both at the finish line and in the overall standings.

On the men side, Beaulieu was guaranteed the title before the start of the 3000m. Vincent Cournoyer (Boucherville, QC) ended up winning the race with a time of 4:48.531. He was followed by Gabriel Chiasson-Poirier (Montréal, QC) at the finish (4:48.819). Marc-André Monette won his second medal of the day, this time the bronze (4:51.530), while Guillaume Blais-Dufour and Liam McFarlane finished fourth and fifth (4:51.955 and 4:52.204). With their results in the 3000m, Cournoyer and McFarlane confirmed their second and third place overall in the competition.

The Canadian Championship points are valued along with points earned by skaters at the first National Team Selection event held in Calgary last December in order to determine Canadian Rankings for the season. These rankings are still unofficial until bye-requests are evaluated and the rankings ratified by the high performance committee later in April. The top athletes in the ranking will then join members of the Short Track Olympic Team to make next year’s National Team, while the next top skaters will be named to the development team.

For now, Jessica Hewitt, Marie-Andrée Mendes-Campeau and Marie-Ève Drolet are sitting in the top three spot on the women side, while Rémi Beaulieu, Marc-André Monette and Liam McFarlane are on top of the men’s rankings. Canada’s National and Development Teams will be officially named late April or early May.