Nesbitt & Groves Earn Silver & Bronze

Canada’s subdued performance yesterday was forgotten with Christine Nesbitt (London, ON) and Kristina Groves (Ottawa, ON) winning silver and bronze in the women’s 1500m race on day 2 of the Heerenveen World Cup. In men’s 500m action, Jamie Gregg (Edmonton, AB) took a very respectable 7th place, while Kyle Parrott (Minnedosa, AB) finished first in the men’s Division B – and now moves to Division A.

Nesbitt heard the hometown crowd’s cheers for Dutch skater Irene Wust, who won gold in 1:56.69. Nesbitt’s silver medal time was 1:56.74 – 0.05 seconds behind Wust; Kristina Groves (Ottawa, ON) won bronze in 1:57.05.

Originally disappointed, Nesbitt explained, “When at first I saw my results I wasn’t happy, but I am content with my results. Things were difficult this week, sometimes being on the road it gets hard to focus. I think a silver despite a rough week is a good sign.” She credits training with a men’s group with having helped her improve, “Denny (Morrison) and Lucas (Makowsky) have such good technique, they are a part of the reason why I’m doing better this year.”

Kristina Groves was pleased with her first podium of the season, “Its frustrating when you don’t have the results you’re looking for, but I think last week’s results allowed me to refocus. I skate my best when I concentrate on how I feel when skating, and not when I think about results!” Groves also confirmed, “On any given day I know I have the potential to be on the podium. I feel more grounded this week and I skated well!” she concluded.

Still in the 1500m, Cindy Klassen (Winnipeg, MB) continues to improve with 11th place in 1:59.32, Brittany Schussler (Winnipeg, MB) came 12th at 1:59.34. In Division B, Justine L’Heureux (St-Tite, QC) earned 12th place with 2:01.89.

In the 500m event, Christine Nesbitt (London, ON), grabbed 14th in 39.10. In Division B, Shannon Rempel (Winnipeg, MB) skated to 12th in 39.69; Tamara Oudenaarden (St-Albert, AB) was 15th with 39.79; Anastasia Bucsis (Calgary, AB) came 17th in 39.85; and Justine L’Heureux (St-Tite, QC) earned 24th with a time of 40.44.

Kyle Parrot Moves up to Division A

Jamie Gregg skated to seventh in 35.27 in the 500m event, a very respectable result for the young Canadian skater. Exciting developments took place in Division B, with Kyle Parrott taking first place in 35.25, qualifying to race Division A at the next World Cup event.

Other Division B performances of note were Michael Ireland (Winnipeg, MB) with 5th in 35.69; Vincent Labrie (Saint-Romuald, QC) at 12th in 35.92, and Muncef Ouardi (Charlesbourg, QC) in 22nd place with a time of 36.23.

In the 5000m event, Mathieu Giroux (Pointe-aux-Trembles, QC) took 16th place in 6:32.58, followed by Lucas Makowsky (Regina, SK), 17th in 6:33.05. In Division B, Jordan Belchos (Thornhill Markham, ON) was 17th in 6:40.82; Steven Elm (Red Deer, AB) came 19th in 6:41.89; and Jay Morrison (Fort St-John, BC) took 24th in 6:45.46.

On Sunday, the women’s and men’s 1000m event, as well as both women’s and men’s team pursuit races will take place.