Vincent de Haitre

Vincent De Haitre skated in a time of 1:08.37 to win the 1,000 metres long-track speed skating event Monday at the Olympic trials for Canada's team. (Courtesy Vincent De Haitre)

Cumberland speed skater Vincent De Haître picked a great day Monday to skate a personal best.

The 19-year-old won the 1,000 metre long track race on the second day of the Olympic trials for Canada's team, earning a place on Canada's Olympic squad.

His time of 1:08.37 was nearly a half second off his previous personal best, and was as much a surprise to him as to the rest of the field.

His win was aided when veteran skater Dennis Morrison clipped his skates 50 metres from the finish line and fell coming around the final turn.

"I have a slower start than most of these guys but I managed to pull it together on the last lap and keep the speed up," said De Haître.

"I was shocked, really. All these skaters are really good and I'm just glad I could compete with them."

De Haître, a two-sport athlete who also excels at track cycling, is one of two skaters with the Gloucester Concordes speed skating club headed to the Olympics. Ivanie Blondin, 23, also qualified after she finished second to Winnipeg's Brittany Schussler in the women's 3,000 metre race on Saturday.

With files from the Canadian Press