#OvalDriven CourtneyShmyr, Keri Morrison and Jamie MacDonald selected for National Development Team
OTTAWA, ON - Speed Skating Canada has announced the athletes who have been named on the Short Track National and Development Teams for 2015-2016. Among the selections for the short track National Development team are a trio of #OvalDriven skaters; Courtney Shmyr, Keri Morrison and Jamie MacDonald.
After a strong 5th place showing in the 2014 Fall World Cup Selections at the Oval - Shmyr was selected to join Canada’s Fall ISU Short Track World Cup Team. This was her first selection for the World Cup as she competed in the two North American stops on the Fall World Cup circuit – Salt Lake City and Montreal (Where she finished 7th in the 500m).
Shmyr, a native of Langley, BC is a true “Oval-grown” athlete who began her career with the Oval Program in 2009 and competed on the world stage twice before at the 2011 and 2012 World Junior Championships. This marks her second year as a National Development Team selection as she will look to follow up a successful season in 2014-15. Shymyr placed 3rd in the 500m event at Canadian Senior Championships and 3rd in the 1000m event at the Canadian Senior Open Selection #2 held at the Oval in March of 2015.
Morrison and MacDonald were selected to compete for Canada in the 2015 Winter Universiade in Granada, Spain. Sped Skating Canada and Canadian Interuniversity Sport took a team of 10 student-athletes to represent the country in the short track speed skating event in early February 2015. Both Morrison and MacDonald were part of the 3000m relay team that took bronze. Morrison was also barely edged out of the podium with a 4th place finish in the 1500m event. Both these athletes were making their second appearance in this competition after taking part in the 2013 Winter Universiade in Trentino, Italy.
MacDonald then wrapped up her season in style with 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 past March. Macdonald was able to outskate 31 other female athletes (excluding national team members who competed at the World Short Track Championships in Moscow the same weekend) 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. The points from this weekend were enough for the the Oval based trio of Macdonald, Morrison and Shymr to finish the season in the Top 10 of the Canadian selection rankings for this year's national team.
The 2015-16 National Team is led by Olympic medalists Charles Hamelin, Marianne St-Gelais, François Hamelin, Valérie Maltais, Charle Cournoyer, Olivier Jean and Guillaume Bastille, as well as two-time Olympic medalist Marie-Ève Drolet from Saguenay, QC.
Marie-Ève Drolet, 33 years of age, is progressively returning to full training following the birth of her first child last January, with the gold of taking part in the 2018 Olympic Games.
These veterans will be accompanied by many young promising skaters who earned strong international results last season, including Kim Boutin (Sherbrooke, QC), Kasandra Bradette (Saint-Félicien, QC), Patrick Duffy (Oakville, ON), Samuel Girard (Ferland-et-Boilleau, QC) and Genève Bélanger (Montréal, QC). These skaters all represented Canada at last winter's World Senior Championships along with Charles Hamelin, St-Gelais, Maltais, Jean and Bastille.
The only Canadian to win a medal at the 2015 World Junior Championships, Audrey Phaneuf from Boucherville, QC, will round out the Senior Women's National Team. Phaneuf won the silver medal in the 500m event held in Osaka, Japan.
New faces on the National Development Team
Among the new members on the National Development Team is triple gold medalist at the 2015 Canada Games, Rosalie Tremblay from Saint-Félicien, QC.
At the competition held in Prince George, B.C., the 17-year old skater finished first in the 500m, 1500m and the women’s relay events. She also won a silver medal in the 1000m and a bronze medal in the 3000m events. In addition, she took part in the World Junior Championships and finished third in last season's Canadian junior ranking.
Joanie Gervais (Saguenay, Jonquière borough, QC) and William Preudhomme (Toronto, ON) will also make their debut on the National Development Team following strong performances last season. Both took part in their first ever World Cups last year. Preudhomme even won a bronze medal in the 500m race at his first career World Cup, held in Shanghai in December 2014.
Also on the National Development Team are members of the Canadian squad who skated in the 2015 Winter Universiade: Yoan Gauthier (Rivière-du-Loup, QC) and Samuel Bélanger-Marceau (Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, QC), who also took part in World Cups in the fall of 2014, as well as Cédrik Blais (Châteauguay, QC), Pascal Dion (Montréal, Rivière-des-Prairies - Pointe-aux-Trembles borough, QC), Namasthée Harris-Gauthier (Montréal, Rosemont - La Petite-Patrie borough, QC), MacDonald (Fort St. James, B.C.) and Morrison (Burlington, ON).
Danaé Blais (Châteauguay, QC), Sasha (Alexander) Fathoullin (Calgary, AB) and Sébastien Gagnon (Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, QC) will also be on the National Development Team.
Fathoullin, the current Canadian Junior champion, and Gagnon also took part in the World Junior Championships last year.
These athletes will train at the National Centres at the Maurice-Richard Arena in Montreal or at the Olympic Oval in Calgary, while receiving complete specialized services as well as carding support from Sport Canada.
Members of the Women’s National Team
BÉLANGER, Genève (Montréal, QC)
BOUTIN, Kim (Sherbrooke, QC)
BRADETTE, Kasandra (Saint-Félicien, QC)
DROLET, Marie-Ève (Saguenay, QC)
MALTAIS, Valérie (Saguenay, QC)
PHANEUF, Audrey (Boucherville, QC)
ST-GELAIS, Marianne (Saint-Félicien, QC)
Members of the Men’s National Team
BASTILLE, Guillaume (Rivière-du-Loup, QC)
DUFFY, Patrick (Oakville, ON)
GIRARD, Samuel (Ferland-et-Boilleau, QC)
HAMELIN, Charles (Sainte-Julie, QC)
HAMELIN, François (Sainte-Julie, QC)
JEAN, Olivier (Lachenaie, QC)
Members of the Women’s Development Team
BLAIS, Danaé (Châteauguay, QC)
GERVAIS, Joanie (Saguenay, Jonquière borough, QC)
HARRIS-GAUTHIER, Namasthée (Montréal, QC)
MACDONALD, Jamie (Fort St. James, B.C.)
MORRISON, Keri (Burlington, ON)
SHMYR, Courtney (Langley, B.C.)
TREMBLAY, Rosalie (Saint-Félicien, QC)
Members of the Men’s Development Team
BÉLANGER-MARCEAU, Samuel (Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, QC)
BLAIS, Cédrik (Châteauguay, QC)
COURNOYER, Charle (Boucherville, QC)
DION, Pascal (Montréal, QC)
FATHOULLIN, Sasha (Alexander) (Calgary, AB)
GAGNON, Sébastien (Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, QC)
GAUTHIER, Yoan (Rivière-du-Loup, QC)
PREUDHOMME, William (Toronto, ON)