Its taken me a week to get to this trials recap. The truth is that I was pretty disappointed with how trials went ad didn’t really feel like blogging. After Fridays good day, I had two not very good days in a row in a competition where you have almost no room for mistakes. Despite the fact that I am disappointed in not fulfilling one of my main goals for the year, I have to realistic. I was forced to sit out three and a half weeks of training beginning at the start of December in Japan and stretching until just after Christmas. I was also unable to lift weights for almost two months prior to trials, and I had done almost zero starts or high intensity accelerations since my return to ice. All of this was due to my back injury. This would not be an ideal lead up to the biggest competition of the year by any stretch of the imagination. I am not one to make excuses, but in my mind this was a determining factor in my poor showing at the trials. The positives though are that despite a way less than ideal lead up, I was still able to put together a 7th overall, a result I would have been ecstatic about only a little more than a season ago. Now that result is hardly enough to satisfy. A second positive is that I will be able to compete in one more world cup this year. The top three, Charles Hamelin, Olivier Jean and Francois-Louis Tremblay, who will be competing individually at the World Championships will all come home for extra rest and preparation after World Cup 5. Speedskating Canada is sending the next three skaters, myself, Remi Beaulieu and Alex Boisvert-Lacroix to World Cup 6 in Dresden, Germany. Following the trials, I was also qualified for the World University Games in Harbin China. I decided to turn down my spot for this competition for a couple reasons. The first is that I want to allow my back ample time to heal and put in some really solid training before the last team trials in March, and also because I have decided not to take classes this semester in order to have a chance to have a between season break as our new season will be starting a month before the winter university semester ends.
For the rest of the team, there were some good and not so good results. The highlights were definitely Jess Gregg, who was second overall and is the top ranked female in the country this year and will compete individually at world champs. Jessica Hewitt also qualified to skate the relay at worlds as well as the rest of the World Cups. Marie-Eve Drolet also impressed in her return to trials and will skate World Cups 5 and 6. The men didn’t have the greatest weekend, but one highlight was Gilmore Junio, a junior who was 15th overall in his first senior trials. Below is my best race of the weekend, the 1500m semi-final.