Belchos & Garrido on the podium at Canada Cup #4

Jordan Belchos (Toronto, ON) finished off his season in style, Friday, by winning the 10 000m Canada Cup #4 long track speed skating competition, presented at the Olympic Oval in Calgary. In the 5000m, Nicole Garrido (Edmonton, AB) didn’t take the day off either, also taking home gold at the Canada Cup #4.

The Torontonian skated away with the win thanks to a time of 13:28.93. “In addition to winning the race, I also acheived my fastest time ever in the 10 000m,“ explained Belchos, who was sitting in third in the 10 000m Canada Cup standings before this weekend’s competition began. “I got off to a great start and after a couple of turns I was in a very good position. Still, I felt like I could have given a bit more. In the end though, the objective of this competition was to assure myself of a spot on the national team next year, and with results I obtained this weekend I’m on the right path.”

Second place finisher Keith Sulzer (Calgary, AB) crossed the line in 13:40.14, while his compatriot Scott Bickerton (Nelson, BC) finished 3rd in 13:43.48.

Among the Canadian women in the 5000m, Garrido was the fastest in a time of 7:15.73. The Albertan beat out her closest rival, Tori Spence (Kamloops, BC), by 71 hundredths of a second. Spence registered a time of 7:16.44, while Kirsti Lay (Medecine Hat, AB) brought home the bronze in 7:19.03.

“I’m very happy to have gotten the best Canadian result today,” declared Garrido, who finished second in the 3000m event on Thursday. “Overall, the race was tough today because I had to deal with fatigue from yesterday’s event. Despite it all, I really battled hard throughout the race to get a good result. I managed to stay focused, and I think it was an excellent way to finish off the season.”

Jamie Gregg seizes another first place finish

Also on Friday, Jamie Gregg (Edmonton, AB) won the first leg of the 1000m event. The Canadian skater, who to this point sits in second in the overall Canada Cup standings in this event, clocked a time of 1:08.95, beating out his closest rival, Laurent Dubreuil (Lévis, QC) by 67 hundredths of a second.

“Even though I’m starting to feel fatigue after competing in the World Single Distance Championships last week, I felt pretty good while skating today, and came away with a really solid time,” voiced Gregg, who also finished first in the first leg of the 500m that took place yesterday.

For his part, Tyler Derraugh (Winnipeg, MB) came away with the 3rd best time, clocking in at 1:09.75

In the women’s 1000m, Kali Christ (Regina, SK) registered the best time, crossing the line in 1:16.63. Currently 9th in the Canada Cup standings in this discipline, Christ edged out her compatriot Anastasia Bucsis (Calgary, AB) by 23 hundredths. Bucsis finished in a time of 1:16.86, and Tamara Oudernaarden (St. Albert, AB) was third in 1:17.49.

The competition continues tomorrow, with the second legs of the 500m and 1000m events being presented. The Canadian athletes cumulate points throughout the duration of the weekend, with the goal of garnering a spot on year’s Canadian National or Development team.