National short track team selections coming to Montreal this weekend

National short track team selections coming to Montreal this weekend
Competition key to identifying 2013-14 teams and competitors for Olympics selections in August

- The Maurice-Richard Arena, the national short track training centre in Montreal, will play host to the national short track team selections #2 from Friday, March 1 to Sunday, March 3. This competition, along with the Canadian Open Championships in January, will be used to compile the 2012-13 Canadian rankings and assist in determining the 2013-14 national and development teams and skaters for the Olympic selections in August.

The Olympics selections will take place at the Maurice-Richard Arena from Wednesday, Aug. 7 to Sunday, Aug. 18. The competition will include 16 men and 16 women competing in five days of races during this period, simulating the Sochi 2014 Olympics schedule.

The men’s group for the national selections this weekend highlights 24 skaters, including three national team members and four from the development team. Five skaters from the development squad join national team members Jessica Gregg and Caroline Truchon in the women’s group. Also competing are all eight national junior team skaters, who took part in the World Junior Championships in Poland last weekend.

For the purposes of determining a final overall Canadian ranking, the athletes selected to compete at 2013 World Championships in Hungary, from March 8-10, will be ranked one to five in order of their selection: Women - 1. Marianne St. Gelais, 2. Marie-Ève Drolet, 3. Jessica Hewitt, 4. Valérie Maltais, 5. Gabrielle Waddell; Men - 1. Charles Hamelin, 2. Michael Gilday, 3. Charle Cournoyer, 4. Olivier Jean, 5. Guillaume Bastille.

The selections begin Friday with the 1,500 metres. The qualification races begin at 9:30 a.m. with the finals at approximately 11 a.m. The 500-metre distance is featured Saturday, with races starting at 9 a.m. and finals at approximately 11 a.m. The selections wrap up Sunday with 1,000 and Super 3,000 metres. The 1,000-metre qualification heats begin at 1:30 p.m. with the finals at 4 p.m. The Super 3,000-metre race will follow with only the top 16 skaters.

Men (province; rank for selections #2):
Scott Beamish (P.E.I., 18th); *Rémi Beaulieu (Quebec, 4th); Samuel Bélanger-Marceau (Quebec, 9th); Dave Belval (Quebec, 11th); Cédrik Blais (Quebec, 20th); Benjamin Bousquet (Quebec, 15th); **Vincent Cournoyer (Quebec, 1st); **Patrick Duffy (Quebec, 2nd); @Sasha Fathoullin (Alberta, 16th); **Pier-Olivier Gagnon (Quebec, 5th); Maxime Gauthier (Quebec, 7th); @Yoan Gauthier (Quebec, 12th); Samuel Girard (Quebec, 14th); Olivier Godin (Quebec, 24th); @David Goulet (Quebec, 17th); *François Hamelin (Quebec, 8th); Sébastien Landry (Quebec, 21st); Gabriel Maillé (Quebec, 13th); Jacob McKenzie (Ontario, 19th); Vincent Morin (Quebec, 23rd); Julien Nepveu-Goulet (Quebec, 22nd); @William Preudhomme (Ontario, 10th); **Alexandre St-Jean (Quebec, 6th); *François-Louis Tremblay (Quebec, 3rd).

Women (province; rank for selections #2):
Valérie Alby (Quebec, 18th); @Genève Bélanger (Quebec, 4th); @Kim Boutin (Quebec, 9th); Rosemary Charest (Quebec, 21st); Tessa Collard (Quebec, 24th); Lydiane Cournoyer (Quebec, 17th); **Andréa Do-Duc (Quebec, 6th); @Joanie Gervais (Quebec, 15th); *Jessica Gregg (Alberta, 2nd); **Namasthée Harris-Gauthier (Quebec, 10th); Vicky Labourdette (Quebec, 12th); Valérie Lambert (Quebec, 3rd); Marie-Claude Lemieux (Quebec, 19th); Michelle Mackay (B.C., 14th); Cynthia Mascitto (Quebec, 20th); **Keri Morrison (Ontario, 5th); Samantha Morrison (Ontario, 16th); @Audrey Phaneuf (Quebec, 11th); Taylor Schmidt (Ontario, 8th); Courtney Shmyr (B.C., 7th); Aileen Song (Ontario, 22nd); **Léa Thibault (Quebec, 13th); Amélie Tremblay (Quebec, 23rd); *Caroline Truchon (Quebec, 1st).

* denotes national team; ** denotes development team; @ denotes junior team