Christ & Schussler win at North American & Oceania regional qualifier

Kali Christ and Brittany Schussler win at North American and Oceania regional qualifier

– Canadian skaters Kali Christ and Brittany Schussler each took first place in the 500- and 3,000-metre races today, respectively, at the North American and Oceania regional qualifying competition for the World All-Round Championships in Norway. The qualifier, featuring Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand, is being held in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Today’s races featured the men's and women's 500 metres, women's 3,000 (women's full results) and men's 5,000 metres (men’s full results). On Sunday, the men and women will compete in the 1,500 metres, as well as the women's 5,000- and men's 10,000-metre distances. Skaters are ranked over the combined results of the four distances.

In the women’s 500 metres, Christ of Regina won in a time of 39.59 seconds. Teammate Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa took third place (39.72), while American Anna Ringsred was second (39.72). The other Canadians in the race saw Brittany Schussler of Winnipeg in fourth (39.95) place, Sarah Gregg of Edmonton was eighth (41.25), Tori Spence of Kamloops, B.C., in 10th (41.97) spot, and Ottawa’s Lauren McGuire was 12th (42.57).

Schussler won the women’s 3,000 metres in a time of four minutes and 10.23 seconds, and Blondin returned to the podium for a silver medal (4:10.27). Christ was in fourth (4:15.82) place, while McGuire was seventh (4:19.09), Spence eighth (4:19.63) and Gregg earned the 12th (4:39.05) spot.

Two skaters from Regina took the silver and bronze medals in the men’s 500 metres. Lucas Makowsky took second place in 36.70 seconds and Justin Warsylewicz had the bronze in 36.94. Stefan Waples of Winnipeg was sixth with a time of 37.42 seconds. Alec Janssens of Chilliwack, B.C., was ninth (37.63), Nick Goplen of Kelowna, B.C., was 10th (37.66) and Toronto's Jordan Belchos was 12th (38.09). Joey Mantia of the United States won the gold medal in a time of 36.45 seconds.

In the men’s 5,000 meters, Makowsky earned another silver medal in a time of six minutes and 29.77 seconds. Belchos took sixth (6:33.99) place, followed by Janssens in seventh (6:36.33), Warsylewicz in 10th (6:41.82), Waples in 11th place (6:42.16), and Goplen in 12th (6:49.79) spot. American Jonathan Kuck was first with a time of 6:25.53.