Vicent & Guilmette crowned champions at short track speed skating national team trials

Jonathan Guilmette of Montreal completed a dominating performance at the Canadian team trials in short track speed skating on Sunday with victories in the final two races for first place overall while Tania Vicent of Montreal took the women’s crown.

In the men’s 1,000 metres, Guilmette clocked 1:28.48 in the final for his third win in four races this weekend. Mathieu Turcotte of Sherbrooke, Que., was second in 1:28.50 and Steve Robillard of Montreal third in 1:28.70.

In the 3,000, Guilmette took the gold in 5:17.37 with Turcotte second in 5:17.47 and François-Louis Tremblay of Boucherville, Que., third in 5:17.62.

In the overall standings, Guilmette tabulated 3,443 points, Turcotte was second at 2,485 and Robillard third at 2,237. Rounding out the top eight were Jean-Francois Monette of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que., in fourth at 2,227, Charles Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que., fifth at 1,669, Tremblay sixth at 1,641, Daryl Rasmussen of Prince George, B.C., seventh at 1,339 and Éric Bédard of Ste-Thècle, Que., at 1,224.

“I know I was a favourite to win but this was far from being an easy competition,” said Guilmette, a double Olympic medallist at the 2002 Games. “The races were very aggressive sometimes even more than at World Cups. The young wolves were after us. I was pleased with how I managed to maintain my leads in each race.”

In the women’s 1,000, Vicent clocked 1:35.05 for the victory with Amanda Overland of Kitchener, Ont., second at 1:35.11 and Alanna Kraus of Abbotsford, B.C., third at 1:35.12.

In the 3,000, Raphaele Lemieux of Rivière-du-Loup, Que., capped a strong showing with the win in 5:21.15 with Émilie Nadeau-Benoit of Montreal second in 5:21.21 and Anouk Leblanc-Boucher of Montreal third in 5:21.31.

Vicent was first overall at 3,057 points followed by Amélie Goulet-Nadon of Laval, Que., in second at 2,429 and Kraus third in 2,114. Lemieux was fourth at 2,106, Overland fifth at 1,862, Nadeau-Benoit sixth at 1,670, Leblanc-Boucher seventh at 1,519 and Chantale Sévigny of Sherbrooke eighth at 1,428.

“I capitalized on my strengths this weekend,” said Vicent, 27, an Olympic medallist in the relays in 1998 and 2002. “And I was also pleased with my attitude all weekend. I came in here knowing I could do this well.”

This weekend’s competition was the first of two trials to determine the team for the world championships in March. The next trials are at the Canadian Open January 22-25 at Abbotsford, B.C.

Guilmette and Vicent and their national team teammates now head to Asia for World Cup events November 28-30 at Jeonju City, South Korea and December 5-7 in Beijing.