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Report & Pictures- Day 1- Canadian Roller Speed Skating Championships

The 2009 Canadian Roller Speed Skating Championships are now under way in Toronto.

The two day competition, which features skaters from Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec, started early this morning and concludes Sunday afternoon.

Skaters were treated to beautiful clear skies. This was off-set by very strong winds, which had a negative impact on times skated.

Freshmen & Primary Skaters Set Records
Despite the strong wind, Bailin Xie (OISC- Ottawa) and Adrian Sanchez (TISC- Toronto) skated to new records in their 1500-meter races. Xavier Charron (VRL- Quebec) set the natinal record in the 600-meter Primary Boys race. The record setting trio, along with how their fellow age-group competitors skated, are welcome breath of fresh air as they will eventually fill the junior categories.

Junior Skaters Move Up To Senior
Four junior world class men were slated to race today, but with two no-shows, Calgary club-mates Brett Leavens and Chris D’Mello opted to challenge up to the senior world class men’s division.

Doucet (that’s me) Wings All 3 Senior World Class Men’s Races
Changing categories ended working in Brett Leavens’ favour; the 15- year old ended up finishing 2nd in the senior world class men’s 10km points/ elimination race. He joined me for a long break from the lead group. The break lasted through to the finish of the race. I won the race, with Leavens coming 2nd, and Alex D’Mello securing points early on and the single point for 3rd at the end. Montreal’s Marc Joubert and Stephan Charron completed the top-5.

I ended up coming 3-for-3, with wins in the 300-meters, 10km points/ elimination, and1000-meter races. With extremely strong winds, Travis Shaw was the only skater to break the 28-second barrier in the heats. For the 300-meter finals, strong winds added heaps of time to the finishing times; I won the final in a time of 29.23 seconds. Jade Pauley finished 2nd, with .06 between him and I.

The 1000-meter race featured plenty of drama; with only two heats taking place, the winner of each heat plus the next 4 fastest time would qualify for the final. The first heat (which I won) was mis-timed. The officials opted to re-skate both heats, to be as fair as possible to all skaters. Jade Pauley just managed to win the second heat , but upon learning that his heat would also be re-skated, had words with officials and was disqualified from the 1000-meters.

Once both heats were re-skated, the final took place. In the final, Brett Leavens drove the pace early on. With 400+ meters to go, I accelerated on the outside and opened up a lead that was big enough for me to win the race unchallenged. Jesse Pauley finished in 2nd place.

Senior World Class Women’s Racing- 1- Sarah Hopkins, 2-Morgane Echardour, 3- Dominique Lalonde
The senior world class women treated the crowd to the exact same finishing order in all 3 races; 1- Sarah Hopkins, 2- Morgane Echardour, 3- Dominique Lalonde.

Don’t get me wrong, despite the results, the races were hard fought and these girls put everything on the line. Hopkins, who earlier in the day took the 300-meter time trial in a time in the high 30’s, won the 10km points/ elimination race by the smallest margin; 1 point.

Morgane Echardour led the early stages of the 1000-meter race. On the last lap, Sarah Hopkins charged up the outside of the straightaway, taking advantage of the wind conditions and shooting by Echardour to take the win.

Racing resumes early tomorrow morning.

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