Wotherspoon & Nesbitt Dominate Day One of the Canadian Selections

Jeremy Wotherspoon (Red Deer, AB) and Christine Nesbitt (London, ON) dominated Day One of the Canadian Long Track Team Selections in Calgary today, each with solid wins in their respective 500m races.

Both male and female skaters took to the ice for two heats of the 500m distance, the culumative total of which was used to calculate an overall ranking. In women’s racing, Nesbitt finished first in each heat with times of 38.56 and 38.54 respectively, solidifying her place at the top of the rankings, and earning her a berth for the event in February.

“Each heat went well, I’m really happy to have secured my spot in the 500m for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, since it’s not my specialty,” explained the native of London who is prequalifed for the 1000m and 1500m events. “It was a bit challenging to keep my focus while racing today, since I’m not all that confident at this distance,” confided Nesbitt.

Anastasia Bucsis (Calgary, AB) took second place overall, courtesy of a third place finish in both of her heats; her times of 38.83 and 38.81 enabled her to edge ahead of Shannon Rempel (Winnipeg, MB). “I just can’t believe it!” exclaimed Bucsis. “I’ve achieved one of my dreams today; my coaches and I are so happy with my progress; it felt like everything really came together,” she concluded.

Tamara Oudenaarden (St.Albert, AB) and Danielle Wotherspoon (Red Deer, AB) rounded out today’s top five rankings. Three Canadian women will skate in the 500m event in a few short months at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Wotherspoon Gets His Groove Back

Jeremy Wotherspoon stopped the clock at 34.70 during his first 500m heat, and then skated a faster second heat in 34.47, beating out closest competitor Mike Ireland (Winnipeg, MB) by eight hundredths of a second. Kyle Parrott (Minnedosa, MB) and Jamie Gregg (Edmonton, AB) finished third and fourth, respectively.

Four men will take to the ice for the 500m event at the Richmond Olympic Oval this upcoming Februrary.

Monday, the Canadian Olympic Long Track Team Selections continue, with the women’s 3000m and men’s 5000m events. The athletes who will qualify for Canada’s long track team at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games will be named officially in the next weeks.