Blondin & Makowsky champions Continental Championships

Ivanie Blondin and Lucas Makowsky overall champions at North American and Oceania Continental Championships
Blondin also wins the 5000 m, Schussler and Makowsky are first in the 1500 m

– Three Canadian women and men were top five skaters today in combined points after four races at the North American and Oceania Continental Championships, the qualifying competition for the World All-Round Championships in Norway. The two-day qualifier, featuring Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand, was held in Salt Lake City, Utah. (full results)

Ottawa’s Ivanie Blondin won today’s 5,000-metre race in a time of 7:12.92, and was fourth in the 1,500 metres in 1:59.78. With the two second place finishes on Saturday in the 500 metres and 3,000 metres, the 22-year-old earned 164.649 points to take top spot overall.

Brittany Schussler of Winnipeg was second overall with 164.845 points. The 27-year-old won today’s 1,500 metres crossing the finishing line in one minute and 57.51 seconds, and was third in the 5,000 metres in 7:20.40. Regina’s Kali Christ was second in the 1,500 metres (1:57.62) and fourth in the 5,000 metres (7:26.27), good enough for 166.059 points and third overall. The 21-year-old posted personal best times in both distances today.

Tori Spence of Kamloops, B.C., was seventh overall (172.205) in ranking with a ninth place finish (2:05.13) in the 1,500 metres and sixth (7:32.54) in the 5,000 metres. Sarah Gregg, of Edmonton, was eighth (2:04.19) and Ottawa’s Lauren McGuire was 10th (2:05.80) in the 1,500 metres. Neither skater took part in the 5,000 metres.

On the men’s draw for all-round ranking, Regina’s Lucas Makowsky with first with 152.878 points. The 25-year-old won today’s 1,500 metres in a time of one minute and 46.88 seconds and was fifth in the 10,000 metres with a season best time of 13:51.51. He was second twice on Saturday in the 500 metres and 5,000 metres.

Jordan Belchos, of Toronto, was fourth overall with 154.857 points. He was second in the 10,000 metres in 13 minutes and 39.85 seconds and earned sixth place (1:49.13) in the 1,500 metres. The 23-year-old was sixth in the 5,000 metres and 12th in the 500 metres.

Alec Janssens, of Chilliwack, B.C., came in fifth overall with 155.467 points. The 21-year-old took third place in the 1,500 metres in a time of 1:48.71 and was seventh (13:59.36) in the 10,000 metres.

Americans Jonathan Kuck and Joey Mantia were second and third overall with 153.192 and 153.839 points, respectively.

In other 1,500-metre action, Regina’s Justin Warsylewicz was ninth (1:50.57), Stefan Waples of Winnipeg was 10th (1:50.80) and Nick Goplen of Kelowna, B.C., was 14th (1:53.03). The three did not compete in the 10,000 metres.

The six-man, six-woman team earned spots for Canada within the continental quota for the world championships in Hamar, Norway, on Feb. 15 and 16. The region for Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States receives six entries for women and four on the men’s side. With today’s results, Canada can send three women and two men to the World All-Round Championships.