Canadian Long Track Team Announced for World Junior Championships in Italy
Speed Skating Canada – Recently crowned Canadian junior champions Alexa Scott and Connor Howe lead group of eight skaters
Connor Howe skates in the 1000m during the long track speed skating Canada Cup #2 at the Olympic Oval in Calgary, AB, on January 6, 2019. (Photo by Dave Holland, CSI Calgary Photos)
CALGARY, ALBERTA – Speed Skating Canada is proud to announce the long track skaters selected to represent Canada at the upcoming 2019 ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships, which will take place on the outdoor Ice Rink Piné in Baselga di Pine, Italy from February 15-17.
The Canadian team for this prestigious international competition – which features three athletes returning to the World Championships stage and five making their debut – were selected based on their results from the 2019 Canadian Junior Long Track Championships that took place in Calgary at the beginning of January.
The men’s team is comprised of Connor Howe (Canmore, Alta.), Hubert Marcotte (Pont-Rouge, Que.), Jack Deibert (Calgary, Alta.) and Frank Roth (Calgary, Alta.), while the ladies will be represented by Alexa Scott (Clandeboye, Man.), Gabrielle Jelonek (Saint-Antoine-de-Tilly, Que.), Ophélie Juneau (Ottawa, Ont.) and Gabrielle Sanson (Moose Jaw, Sask.).
Howe will make his third appearance at the World Junior Championships, having previously participated in Salt Lake City in 2018 and Helsinki in 2017. He earned his spot on this year’s team after posing the fastest time among junior skaters in three of the four distances to capture the Canadian junior title.
His time of 1:44.16 in the 1500m was not only a new Canadian junior record, it was fast enough to qualify him for the senior World Single Distance Championships in Inzell, Germany.
Joining him on the men’s team are Marcotte, Deibert and Roth, who were the top ranked skaters in a field of 51 athletes from across the country.
Marcotte found the podium in all four distances to claim second overall, skating to a gold medal in the 500m and 1000m, silver in the 1500m and bronze in the 5000m. It was a bit of redemption for him, after finishing fourth and narrowly missing out on a junior national team spot last season.
Deibert was ranked third overall, thanks in large part to his silver medal performance in the 5000m. He finished off the podium in the remaining distances, placing fourth in the 1500m, fifth in the 1000m and ninth in the 500m. Roth earned the last spot on the team with a bronze medal in the 1000m, to go along with a fourth-place finish in the 5000m and fifth-place result in the 1500m.
On the women’s side, both Scott and Jelonek will make their second consecutive World Junior Championships appearance.
Scott earned the most points among the field of 30 female athletes at the national junior championships, winning gold medals in all four distances that contribute to the overall title – the 500m, 1000m, 1500m and 3000m. Jelonek picked up silver medals in the 1000m, 1500m and 3000m, along with a bronze in the 500m, to finish second overall.
Rounding out the team are first timers Juneau and Sanson. Juneau finished each race one position behind Jelonek, earning three bronze medals, while Sanson won a silver medal in the 500m and finished fourth in the 1000m and fifth in both the 1500m and 3000m.
At the World Championships, both the men and ladies will compete in the 500m, 1000m, 1500m and mass start races. The ladies will also skate the 3000m, while the men will add the 5000m to their schedule. The team sprint and pursuit disciplines will also be contested.
This group of Canadian skaters – with the exception of Howe – will also compete in the ISU Junior World Cup Final, which will take place in the same Italian city of Baselga di Pine the weekend prior to the World Championships. Accompanying the team overseas are coaches Todd McClements and Mike Ireland, along with physiotherapist Mark Jesney.
Please see below the full list of athletes, in alphabetical order by last name, selected to represent Canada at the 2019 ISU World Junior Championship and 2019 ISU Junior World Cup Final.
- JELONEK, Gabrielle (Saint-Antoine-de-Tilly, QC)
- JUNEAU, Ophélie (Ottawa, ON)
- SANSON, Gabrielle (Moose Jaw, SK)
- SCOTT, Alexa (Clandeboye, MB)
- DEIBERT, Jack (Calgary, AB)
- HOWE, Connor (Canmore, AB)
- MARCOTTE, Hubert (Pont-Rouge, QC)
- ROTH, Frank (Calgary, AB)
Speed Skating Canada