NEWS: Canadian Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championship coming to Calgary Dec. 3-4

64 skaters – 19 women and 10 men return for a consecutive national championship

OTTAWA – The Alberta Amateur Speed Skating Association (AASSA) is hosting for the first time, on behalf of Speed Skating Canada (SSC), the Canadian Junior Championship for short track Saturday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 4 at the Olympic Oval in Calgary.

The championship features 32 of Canada’s top male and female skaters from 14 to 19 years of age The International Skating Union (ISU) eligibility rules state that the junior skater has reached the age of 14, but not the age of 19 by July 1, 2011. Skaters qualified based on combined distance times recorded at specific SSC sanctioned competitions between Aug. 1 and Nov. 13, 2011.

The championship starts Saturday with the 500-metre and 1,500-metre distances, and continues Sunday with the 1,000 metres and 1,500 metres races. For Sunday’s 1,500 metres, athletes are ranked into the race based on their cumulative results from the first three distances from the championship. Admission is free for the championship, with races starting at 9:35 a.m. on both days.

The Canadian Junior Championship serves as the selection competition for the 2012 World Junior Championship being held in Melbourne, Australia from March 2 to 4. Canada will send a team of four women and four men. Final ranking will be based on the total points from all four races. One of the spots has been reserved for Quebec City’s Alexandre St. Jean. He has been pre-selected for the world junior squad from his fall World Cup selections results. St. Jean was named to join the Canadian team for the third World Cup of the season in Nagoya, Japan, from Dec. 2-4, and fourth in Shanghai, China, Dec. 9-11.

The women’s entry list includes the return of two medalists, including the 2010 champion Cynthia Mascitto of Laval, Que. Courtney Shmyr, from Langley, B.C., was the bronze medalist at the championship held in Saguenay, Que. Five other top 10 finishers from last year are also coming back. They are Stephanie Bowskill from Bailieboro, Ont., who finished fourth; Namasthée Harris-Gauthier from Montreal at fifth; Michelle MacKay of Pitt Meadows, B.C., was sixth; Jessica Santos-Bouffard from Montreal, seventh; and, Amélie Tremblay of Saint-Romuald, Que., at 10th.

Of the 10 men competing again this year, two finished in the top ten. They are Andrew Evans of Fredericton, N.B., who placed sixth and Montreal’s Sébastien Landry in seventh. Eight other skaters finished from 11th to 27th place.

The host province for the 2011 Canadian Junior Championship is represented by three skaters: Paul Cooney of Lethbridge and Calgary’s Sasha Fathoullin and Jordan Henkelman.

Seven provinces and one territory are represented this year: P.E.I. (1), New Brunswick (1), Quebec (44), Ontario (7), Saskatchewan (2), Alberta (3), B.C. (5) and the Yukon (1).

Athletes begin arriving on Monday, Nov. 28 in Calgary for training sessions throughout the week at the Olympic Oval.

The 32 men and 32 women entry list is as follows (city; 2010 championship result). Note that entries are subject to change based on withdrawals and replacements:

Men: Scott Beamish (Cornwall, P.E.I.), Mathieu Bernier (Montreal), Francis Bouchard (Saint-Hedwidge, Que.), Marc-Antoine Bouthillier (Montreal), Sébastien Cadorette (Blainville, Que.), Victor Cameron (Laval, Que.), Jean-René Caron (Verdun, Que.; 17th), Mathieu Célestin (Blainville, Que.), Keegan Christ (Regina), Philippe Clément (Montreal), Paul Cooney (Lethbridge, Alta.), Jean-Félix Dansereau-Leclerc (Longueuil, Que.), Vincent De Haitre (Cumberland, Ont.), Pascal Dion (Montreal), Samuel Dumas (Sherbrooke, Que.), Vincent Egesborg (Montreal), Andrew Evans (Fredericton, N.B.; 6th), Sasha Fathoullin (Calgary; 16th), Sébastien Gagnon (Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, Que.), Yoan Gauthier (Quebec; 11th), Samuel Girard (Ferland, Que.), Olivier Godin (Saint-Hyacinthe, Que.), David Goulet (Montreal; 21st), Jordan Henkelman (Calgary), Sébastien Landry (Montreal; 7th), Maxime Laoun (Montreal), Gabriel Maillé (Montreal), Jean-Christophe Marando (Longueuil, Que.; 19th), Vincent Morin (Sherbrooke, Que.; 22nd), Émile Pettersen-Coulombe (Varennes, Que.), William Preudhomme (Toronto), Jesse Slusar (Nipawin, Sask.).

Women: Valérie Alby (Montreal; 23rd), Audrey Anctil (Sainte-Julie, Que.; 15th), Amanda Barnès-Métras (Quebec City), Genève Bélanger (Montreal), Kim Boutin (Sherbrooke, Que.; 12th), Stephanie Bowskill (Bailieboro, Ont.; 4th), Heather Clarke (Whitehorse, Yukon), Tessa Collard (Rosemère, Que.; 20th), Laura Crack (Toronto), Camille De Serres-Rainville (Montreal), Gabrielle Desharnais-Préfontaine (Sainte-Thérèse, Que.), Catherine Desjardins-J. (Montreal; 17th), Joanie Gervais (Jonquière, Que.; 11th), Namasthée Harris-Gauthier (Montreal; 5th), Jesse Keca (Kelowna, B.C.; 16th), Marie-Claude Lemieux (Sherbrooke, Que.), Sabrina Lévesque (Blainville, Que.), Jamie MacDonald (Fort St.James, B.C.), Michelle MacKay (Pitt Meadows, B.C.; 6th), Cynthia Mascitto (Laval, Que.; 1st), Laurence Morin (Montreal; 24th), Hannah Morrison (Ottawa; 26th), Flavie Pettersen-Coulombe (Varennes, Que.; 14th), Audrey Phaneuf (Boucherville, Que.), Innzbruk Richards (Oshawa, Ont.), Jessica Santos-Bouffard (Montreal; 7th), Courtney Shmyr (Langley, B.C.; 3rd), Josie Spence (Kamloops, B.C.), Gabrielle St.Germain (Ottawa; 30th), Léa Thibault (Laval, Que.; 13th), Amélie Tremblay (Saint-Romuald, Que.; 10th), Anne-Julie Tremblay (Chicoutimi, Que.)

The Canadian Junior Championship is made possible through the support of SSC, AASSA, Intact, Apogée, HBC, The Co-Op, Alberta Sport, Recreation, Park and Wildlife Foundation, Calgary Speed Skating Association and the Olympic Oval.

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