Canadian hopeful shines at speed skating World Cup Selections
2 wins, 2 personal bests for Boisvert-Lacroix
Alex Boisvert-Lacroix won both of his races in personal-best times on Saturday at Speed Skating Canada's Fall World Cup Selections in Calgary.
The Sherbrooke, Que., native first won the men's 500-metre event in a time of 34.63 seconds, improving his personal best by seven hundredths of a second. He then skated to victory in the 1,000m in a time of 1:08.96, beating his former mark of 1:09.32.
"I was feeling strong and it came out pretty well today," said Boisvert-Lacroix. "Yesterday I had an average race, but I bounced back today."
The 28-year-old Boisvert-Lacroix, who was sixth on Friday in the weekend's first 500, finished ahead of Canadian title holder Laurent Dubreuil (34.77) of Levis, Que., and Calgary's Gilmore Junio (34.82).
Quebec City's Alexandre St-Jean (1:08.99) and Junio (1:09.09) rounded out the top three in the 1000.
Winnipeg's Heather McLean won her second race of the weekend and also set another personal best, this time in the first of two women's 1000 slated during the selections.
McLean, a 22-year-old who was second in last season's final national standings in that distance, finished in 1:15.93, improving on her previous personal best by 60 hundredths of a second.
Calgary's Kaylin Irvine was second (1:16.32), while Ottawa's Ivanie Blondin came third (1:16.40).
McLean also improved her personal best in the 500 by more than 30 hundredths of a second on Friday.
"I think the reason why I feel so strong and why I am able to achieve these personal bests has a lot to do with the training group and my coach," said McLean. "The training group is a lot different from last year. I think there's speed I never knew I had and I have to give a lot of credit to my teammates for bringing that out. It's building my confidence."
McLean was unable to sweep the day's races. She ended up second in Saturday's 500 behind Marsha Hudey of White City, Sask., and ahead of Edmonton's Jessica Greg. All three skaters were also on the podium in Friday's 500.
Hudey won in a time of 37.79, a new personal best by 33 hundredths of a second. McLean finished the race in 37.98, while Gregg skated to a time of 38.45.
"I was focused on the execution and what to do to put it together, and it came together today," said Hudey.
The 57 athletes taking part in this competition, held at the same time as the Oval Invitational events, are vying for a spot on the Canadian national team that will skate at this fall's four World Cup stages, i.e. in Calgary (Nov. 13-15), Salt Lake City, USA (Nov. 20-22), Inzell, Germany (Dec. 4-6) and Heerenveen, Netherlands (Dec. 11-13).
With files from Speed Skating Canada