Three Canadians earn berths on world team at speed skating qualifier

Arne Dankers of Calgary, Jay Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., and Steven Elm of Red Deer, Alta., were named to the Canadian men’s team for the long track speed skating all around world championships as the North American qualifier concluded on Sunday.

Shani Davis of the U.S, delivered a superb performance in men’s competition winning the men’s 1,500 metres and finishing the four-race series with 152.284 points. That’s the second highest overall score ever. Earlier this month at the European championships, Mark Tuitert of the Netherlands posted a world record 151.691 score.

Davis led the U.S., to the top-five placings overall with K.C. Boutiette second at 153.731 and Chad Hedrick third at 154.335. In a thrilling 10,000 metre race, Hedrick edged his pair Davis by 0.02 seconds for gold.

Dankers was the top-Canadian overall finishing sixth. Justin Warsylewicz of Regina, the 18-year-old Canadian all around champion, was seventh, Morrison eighth and Elm ninth.

“The 1,500 went very well and in the 10,000 I was a bit flat but got the job done,” said Dankers, fifth in the 10,000 and sixth in the 1,500 on Sunday. “I’m really excited about the worlds.”

Warsylewicz lowered his Canadian junior record in the 10,000 for the second time this month. He was sixth in 14:01.56, seven seconds faster than at nationals. He declined his spot on the world team to concentrate for the world junior championships, also next month.

“I had a good race most of the way with the lead going back and forth,” said Warsylewicz. “I found a groove and started bringing the lap times down slowly and finished strong. My big goal this year is the world juniors and I want to do well there. Doing both events, I feel, would take a lot out of me with all the travel.”

The Canadian women had pre-qualified for the worlds at the nationals earlier this month. On Sunday, Kristina Groves of Ottawa won the 1,500 and cruised to overall title with 164.949 points. Clara Hughes, of Glen Sutton, Que., the 5,000 winner, was second at 166.168 and Catherine Raney of the U.S., third at 166.402.

“Kristina had an awesome 1,500 and she’s way ahead of last year,” said Hughes. “That augurs well for the worlds. She does every distance well. For myself my main focus is the 5,000 and I did faster than at nationals so I was very pleased with that.”

Groves and Hughes are on the world team along with Cindy Overland of Kitchener, Ont., and Tara Risling of Medicine Hat, Alta.

The all around worlds are February 7-8 in Hamar, Norway.

Sunday’s leading results at the North American qualifier for the long track speed skating all around world championships (all distances in metres):


MEN


1,500


1. Shani Davis, U.S., 1:46.18

2. Derek Parra, U.S., 1:47.97

3. Chris Callis, U.S., 1:48.06

4. K.C. Boutiette, U.S., 1:48.51

5. Jay Morrison, Fort St. John, B.C., 1:48.58

6. Arne Dankers, Calgary, 1:48.83

7. Steven Elm, Red Deer, Alta., 1:49.79

8. Chad Hedrick, U.S., 1:49.80

9. Jamie Ivey, Ottawa, 1:50.36

10. Justin Warsylewicz, Regina, 1:50.93


10,000


1. Chad Hedrick, U.S., 13:41.85

2. Shani Davis, U.S., 13:41.87

3. K.C. Boutiette, U.S., 13:56.26

4. Derek Parra, U.S., 13:57.75

5. Arne Dankers, Calgary, 13:59.33

6. Justin Warsylewicz, Regina, 14:01.56

7. Chris Callis, U.S., 14:11.92

8. Steven Elm, Red Deer, Alta., 14:16.58

9. Jay Morrison, Fort St. John, B.C., 14:25.30

10. Jamie Ivey, Ottawa 14:27.91


Overall (final)


1. Shani Davis, U.S., 152.384

2. K.C. Boutiette, U.S., 153.731

3. Chad Hedrick, U.S., 154.335

4. Derek Parra, U.S., 154.728

5. Chris Callis, U.S., 155.705

6. Arne Dankers, Calgary, 156.009

7. Justin Warsylewicz, Regina, 156.664

8. Jay Morrison, Fort St. John, B.C., 157.390

9. Steven Elm, Red Deer, Alta., 157.684

10. Jamie Ivey, Ottawa 158.297



WOMEN


1,500


1. Kristina Groves, Ottawa, 1:58.74

2. Clara Hughes, Glen Sutton, Que., 2:00.66

3. Catherine Raney, U.S., 2:01.75

4. Cindy Overland, Kitchener, Ont., 2:01.84

5. Tiffany Hughes, Kingston, Ont., 2:02.44

6. Sarah Elliot, U.S., 2:02.49

7. Eva Rodansky, U.S., 2:03.40

8. Maria Lamb, U.S., 2:03.84

9. Michelle D’Amours, Ste-Foy, Que., 2:04.36

10. Kristine Holzer, U.S., 2:05.80


5,000


1. Clara Hughes, Glen Sutton, Que., 7:03.98

2. Kristina Groves, Ottawa, 7:09.19

3. Catherine Raney, U.S., 7:20.46

4. Maria Lamb, U.S., 7:30.50

5. Kristine Holzer, U.S., 7:32.53

6. Michelle D’Amours, Ste-Foy, Que., 7:34.91

7. Tiffany Hughes, Kingston, Ont., 7:40.55

8. Sarah Elliot, U.S., 7:44.57

9. Eva Rodansky, U.S., 7:48.33


Overall (final)


1. Kristina Groves, Ottawa, 164.949

2. Clara Hughes, Glen Sutton, Que., 166.168

3. Catherine Raney, U.S., 166.402

4. Maria Lamb, U.S., 170.455

5. Tiffany Hughes, Kingston, Ont., 171.331

6. Sarah Elliot, U.S., 171.460

7. Michelle D’Amours, Ste-Foy, Que., 172.660

8. Kristine Holzer, U.S., 174.149

9. Eva Rodansky, U.S., 174.437