Canadians look to bring home some hardware from Salt Lake City
Calgary, AB – Reigning Canadian Junior Champions Brooklyn McDougall and Tyson Langelaar will lead a talented Canadian team into competition at the 2018 ISU World Junior Long Track Championships in Salt Lake City, Utah March 9-11. McDougall and Langelaar were crowned 2018 Champions following their performances at the Canadian Junior Championships in Fort St. John in February.
Langelaar won a medal in each of the six races scheduled, including gold in the 1500m and 5000m, silver in the first 500m and the two 1000m races, as well as bronze in the second 500m.
“It's exciting to be added to a list of previous winners who have gone on to compete at World Cups and the Olympic Games,” said Langelaar who, last year, won a silver medal and two bronze while finishing third in the overall standings at the World Junior Championships in Helsinki. “I really set goals at the beginning of the season to try to match or even surpass last year and at the time I think I had the mindset where it would be nice to do that whereas now the way I am skating and where my confidence is at I kind of feel like I WANT to do that. Our team this year is strong and close to each other, so I think that we, as a team, can bring home some heavy hardware.”
Langelaar, officially joined the Oval program this season with an off season move from Winnipeg to train at the Calgary Olympic Oval.
“The big thing was I needed to graduate from high school before I moved and it’s the National Training Centre so I always knew if I wanted to train here and skate with the best.” said Langelaar “I remember I was so excited to get out here - I literally graduated high school and then just a week later I moved out here to start training at the Oval.”
“It’s a totally different environment where you get the weight room access and bikes and you can get to skate on the best ice everyday.” “To me it’s funny if people ever complain about the ice because last year I wasn’t even able to skate at this time of year so I really appreciate just being able to skate and it’s got a real sense of home to it.”
On the women’s side, McDougall won the two 500m events, silver medals in the two 1000m, and bronze in the 1500m to be crowned Canadian Junior Champion.
“I was very pleased with my performance and my results in Fort St. John.” said McDougall “It never crossed my mind to be a Canadian Junior Champion, it was so unexpected and I’m very honoured especially because the level of skating was so competitive.”
“I’m looking forward to representing Canada at the World Junior Championships” said McDougall for whom this will mark her second World Juniors “I do feel like I am a little bit more of a veteran with a little more experience, but our whole team is like that with skaters like Tyson, Beatrice and Dave there is a lot of leadership on our team. My personal goals are to improve on my previous results in Finland last year and gain more international experience."
McDougall says donning your country’s colours never gets old.
“It’s an amazing feeling and every year in Canada there are so many good skaters that you always have to fight for your spot – so it’s pretty cool to represent my country and wear the maple leaf in an Olympic year especially - It’s special.”
Canada’s team at World Juniors will have a local flair with three Albertans on this year’s team McDougall and Connor Howe of Calgary returning from last year’s team and Kaleb Muller of Cranford, AB competing in his first World Junior Championships. The Canadian Team will also feature Béatrice Lamarche of Quebec City (Sainte-Foy–Sillery–Cap-Rouge borough), QC and David La Rue of Saint-Lambert, QC who are also returning for their second World Juniors.
Gabrielle Jelonek of Saint-Antoine-de-Tilly, QC, and Alexa Scott of Clandeboye, MB, will be the other Canadian representatives and will take part in their first-ever World Junior Championships.
Muncef Ouardi and Oval coach Crispin Parkinson will be the official Canadian team coaches, supported by National team coach Mark Wild as team leader and Tyler Derraugh and Mike Ireland as assistant coaches.
“My first year, having [Oval coach] Todd McClements and especially being able to room with and watch Ben [Donnelly] was huge” said Langelaar “They really taught me a lot about how to prep for races the night before, do a race plan, go on ice, cool down and stuff like that and I felt like they kind of brought me into the big leagues so to speak”
McDougall, who trains at the Oval with Team Alberta is pleased to have her provincial coach with her.
“I am really happy that my coach Mike Ireland is going with us” said McDougall “He knows my racing and he knows me really well – it’s always awesome to have my coach with me.”
“It’s great to have some funding to send such a big team for this event” said team leader Mark Wild “It makes it a great competition for development for coaches as well as athletes which is really important for the development of the sport.”
All of the skaters, except for Lamarche and La Rue, were selected following their performances at the Canadian Long Track Junior Championships, which were held February 2-4 in Fort St. John, B.C. They had to finish among the top three per gender in overall rankings, which included their best 500m and 1000m races in Fort St. John, as well as their results from the 1500m, women’s 3000m or men’s 5000m at that competition.
Lamarche, a two-time bronze medalist in the 1000m and mass start events at last year World Junior Championships, and La Rue, silver medalist in the team sprint event and fourth in the 1000m, were added to the squad as discretionary choices.
In the 2018 Canadian Junior Championships overall ranking, Connor Howe won two silver and three bronze to finish second overall, followed by Muller (one silver and one bronze). La Rue, who was disqualified in the 1500m, won gold medals in the two 500m and two 1000m events and took the third spot in the 5000m.
On the women’s side Alexa Scott took second place overall following a performance of two silver medals and one bronze. Jelonek finished third (bronze medal in the 3000m). Lamarche won gold in the two 1000m events and in the 3000m, and a silver medal in the second 500m.
At the World Junior Championships, all skaters will take part in the 500m, 1000m, 1500m, 3000m, team pursuit and mass start races. Medals will be awarded for each distance and World Champions will be designated based on the overall ranking that will take into account the cumulative performances in each distance.
Canadian representatives for the team sprint and pursuit events will be announced during the competition.
Races at the ISU World Junior Long Track Championships will start Friday, March 9, with the 500m and 3000m events, followed on Saturday, March 10, by the 1000m and team pursuit events. The competition will end on Sunday, March 11, with the 1500m and mass start events.
At last year's World Junior Championships in Finland, Canada won a total of eight medals.
“It’s awesome, you always take it all in and you know the whole trip is paid for because Speed Skating Canada believes in your ability and it never gets old just seeing that maple leaf on your wrist or on the flags” said Langelaar adding hopefully “Especially when you hear the national anthem and hopefully we can make that happen this year.”
Members of the Canadian Team at the 2018 ISU World Junior Long Track Championships
JELONEK, Gabrielle (Saint-Antoine-de-Tilly, QC)
LAMARCHE, Béatrice (Québec, Sainte-Foy–Sillery–Cap-Rouge borough, QC)
MCDOUGALL, Brooklyn (Calgary, AB)
SCOTT, Alexa (Clandeboye, MB)
HOWE, Connor (Canmore, AB)
LANGELAAR, Tyson (Winnipeg, MB)
LA RUE, David (Saint-Lambert, QC)
MULLER, Kaleb (Cranford, AB)
More details are available at Speed Skating Canada's web site at www.speedskating.ca.