Quebec skaters continue strong showing at the 2004 Canada Post Canadian Age Class Short Track Championships; Bédard & MacLean earn victories in the 500m at the national team trials

Quebec skaters today won 6 of a possible 8 gold medals to continue their dominance at the 2004 Canada Post Canadian Age Class Short Track Championships being held in Ottawa from April 1-4 at the Orleans Recreation Complex.

In the intermediate men’s division, Quebec’s Malcolm Therrien clocked a time of 44.880 to earn his second gold medal of the competition. He was followed by Michael Gilday of the Northwest Territories in 45.110 and Frederick Tremblay-Gauvin, third in 45.130.

Nadine Chartier lead a Quebec sweep in the intermediate women’s race with a time of 49.000, followed by Genevieve Fortier in 49.060 and Fanny Lacelles-Webster third in 49.140.

Caroline Truchon of Quebec became the second athlete at the championships to win a second gold medal with her victory in the junior women’s 500-metre. She finished in a time of 47.450 with Jessica Gregg of Alberta second in 47.560 and Andrea Do-Duc of Quebec third in 47.660.

Two Ontario skaters, both from Ottawa, prevented a Quebec sweep of the medals.

On the junior men’s side, Ottawa’s Nicolas Bean clocked a 44.660 seconds to win gold. He was followed by Quebec skaters Vincent André second in 44.760 and Marc-Antoine Martin third in 46.240.

In the juvenile girls 500-metre race, Ivanie Blondin, of Ottawa, clocked a time of 48.890 seconds to win gold. Valerie Maltais of Quebec was second in 48.920 and Samia Gould of New Brunswick third in 49.370.

Blondin, who became the third athlete to win two gold medals at the championships, was especially motivated for this race.

“I wanted to win my 500-metre this weekend, because I didn’t have a great race last weekend in this distance at the North American Short Track Championships,” said Blondin, who also celebrated her 14th birthday today.

“This is an excellent performance for Ivanie,” said her coach Christina Chenard. “Based on past performance we expected her to finish in the top three overall and hopefully competing for medals in every distances. So two gold medals so far is definitely within the realm of what we were thinking of.”

In the juvenile boys division Quebec skaters placed one-two when Gabriel Chiasson-Poirier clocked 46.040 for the win with Martin Turcotte second in 46.600 and Braeden Elliott of Ontario third in 48.560.

In the men’s open division, Eric Bedard of Quebec earned the 500-metre victory with a time of 42.74 with Daryl Rasmussen of British Columbia second in 42.95 and Francois-Louis Tremblay of Quebec third in 42.99.

Bedard, who was passed by Rasmussen on the first lap, was happy to leave his opponent drag him around the ice for a few laps while he waited for the right time to make his move on the leader.

“Daryl’s pass on the first lap surprised me a little but I knew that it might be in his strategy to get out in front of me because he knows that if I’m in the lead he may not get an opportunity to pass me,” said Bedard.

“Daryl has a very good start, so he took advantage of that to pass me. So I decided to let him work for a lap and a half while I set-up my pass. With a lap and a half to go I got my chance and took it.”

In the women’s open division, Jo-Anne MacLean of Nova Scotia took advantage of a quick start to win her race in 47.40 with Chantale Sévigny of Quebec second in 47.43 and Mélissa Ieropoli of Quebec third in 47.47.

Other winners:

Midget Girls

1. Ann-Veronique Michaud, QC, 33.810

2. Laurie Marceau, QC, 34.160

3. Ann-Josée Dion, QC, 34.360

Midget Boys

1. Mikhail-J Choi, QC, 33.410

2. Julien Sauvageau, QC, 33.550

3. Mark Robertson, BC, 35.640