CALGARY, AB – Oval coached National Development team skater Jamie MacDonald had an impressive performance to take first place in the overall standings of Speed Skating Canada’s National Short Track Senior National Team Open Selection #2 this weekend. Macdonald was able to outskate 31 other female athletes (excluding national team members who competed at this weekend’s World Short Track Championships in Moscow) and cruised to a 33120 point competition. Macdonald placed first in the 1500m and 1000m events and second in the 3000m. Not far behind was her Oval teammate Keri Morrison who placed second and Oval coached Courtney Shmyr who placed sixth. It was an all Oval podium in the ladies 1000m event as MacDonald, Morrison and Shmyr took first, second and third respectively.
“Incredible performance from Jamie Macdonald this weekend” said Oval manager of High Performance Programs – Short Track Eric Bedard “She has improved so much over the past few months, she’s really learned the ‘way to race’ and the ‘way to win’. It’s great to see her have success this weekend at home like this because it just reinforces with her how good she can be.”
National junior champion, Audrey Phaneuf rounded out the Top 3 in the ladies competition. In the Men’s competition, Charle Cournoyer, Francois Hamelin and Calgary native Sasha Fathouillin finished top 3 for the weekend. This competition was the final opportunity for all these skaters to gather points towards their national rankings which are key in the selection process for next year's SSC National and National Development teams. Unofficially, the Oval based trio of Macdonald, Morrison and Shymr have accumulated enough points to finish the season in the Top 10 of the Canadian selection rankings for next year’s national team.
“Even though they may or may not have been satisfied with their weekend - I took a lot of positives away about Keri [Morrison] and Courtney [Shmyr].” said Bedard “Keri is a 1500m specialist, she fell in the 1500m yesterday and wasn’t able to make the A final. Courtney is a pure sprinter and she wasn’t able to make the A Final in the 500… But then today both of them came back fighting and you see the result in the 1000m race.”
“That takes a lot of strength mentally to wake yourself up and come out punching, it says a lot about the type of competitors they are”
MacDonald and Morrison recently returned from the 2015 Winter Universiade in Granada, Spain in February. Both skaters put forth solid performances with Morrison narrowly being edged out for third in the final of the Ladies 1500m. Macdonald was able to capture a bronze medal in the ladies relay.
Shmyr and Morrison were both members of this season’s Short Track National team, with Shmyr herself qualifying and competing in her first senior World Cup events in Salt Lake City and Montreal this past fall.
Other oval skaters to finish in the Top 12 of their respective divisions this weekend included Keil Hillis (11th) and Jesse Slusar (12th) as well as Keri’s cousin Samantha Morrison (12th).
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