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    Monday, December 29, 1997

    Wotherspoon sets world record

     CALGARY (CP) -- Jeremy Wotherspoon produced the fastest 1,000-metre race in speed skating history Monday -- one minute 10.16 seconds -- as world standards continued to be smashed at the Olympic trials.
     "I knew I was physically prepared to get the record," said the newest star on Canada's team. "I just had to execute my race plan.
     "It's great to know that I have the three fastest times this year, but I still feel it is possible to go faster. My last lap was slower than I wanted it to be. But, overall, it was a great race."
     Wotherspoon, 21, who was born in Humboldt, Sask., and lives in Red Deer, Alta. Only two years out of the junior ranks, he's won four of the eight World Cup races he's entered this season.
     He eclipsed the 1:10.42 by South Korea's Lee Kyu-Hyuk at a World Cup meet on the same ice last month.
     Sylvain Bouchard of Loretteville, Que., was second in 1:10.73, while Patrick Bouchard of Cap-Rouge Que., was third in 1:11.73.
     The top two locked up berths on the squad that will compete in Nagano, Japan, in February. Two spots remain open.
     The bad news Monday was that groin injuries kept Kevin Overland of Kitchener, Ont., and Mike Ireland of Winnipeg from racing.
     Overland will try a 1,500-metre race today. Ireland's injury appears more serious. He's looking to return for the second part of the trials Jan. 4-7.
     In the women's 1,000, Catriona Le May Doan of Saskatoon, who broke her own world 500 record Sunday, was first in 1:15.93. American Chris Witty broke Le May Doan's world 1,000 record in November, going 1:15.43.
     "I was pleased with the race but I didn't have the snap I usually have," said Le May Doan, 27, who was crowned Canadian sprint champion after dominating the short-distance races for three days. "I felt tired after the first 200 metres and I knew then the record was out of reach.
     "It's nice to know I can still post a sub-1:16 time under those circumstances."
     Susan Auch of Winnipeg was second in 1:18.15 and Linda Johnson Blair of Fort St. John, B.C., was third in 1:19.33.
     Those three should qualify the Olympic spots as they did in the 500 Monday.
     Competition continues today with the men's and women's 1,500.
     Le May Doan currently holds the world mark in the women's event, while Neal Marshall of Coquitlam, B.C., looks to reclaim it in the men's race.
     CALGARY (CP) -- Results Monday at the Canadian single distance long track speed skating championships and Olympic team trials at the Olympic Oval (all distances in metres):
     1,000 (top-three qualify for Olympics): 1. Jeremy Wotherspoon, Red Deer, Alta., one minute and 10.16 seconds (world record); 2. Sylvain Bouchard, Loretteville, Que., 1:10.73; 3. Patrick Bouchard, Cap-Rouge, Que., 1:11.73; 4. Jason Parker, Yorkton, Sask., 1:11.86; 5. Eric Brisson, Ste-Foy, Que., 1:13.18; 6. Jamie Ivey, Ottawa, 1:13.86; 7. Olivier Larocque, Ste-Foy, 1:14.02; 8. Scott Van Horne, Winnipeg, 1:14.60; 9. Sterling Sboczak, Winnipeg, 1:15.25; 10. Dominic Gravel, Ste-Foy, 1:15.58.
     Final sprint standings: 1. Wotherspoon, 106.600 points; 2. Brisson, 109.810; 3. Ivey, 112.270; 4. Van Horne, 112.470; 5. Larocque, 112.670; 6. Sobczak, 112.875; 7. Kevin Foster, Calgary, 115.195; 8. Gravel, 115.660; 9. Todd Lachance, Calgary, 115.730; 10. Daniel Belanger, Ste-Foy, 117.005.
     1,000 (top-three qualify for Olympics): 1. Catriona Le May Doan, Saskatoon, 1;15.93; 2. Susan Auch, Winnipeg, 1:18.15; 3. Linda Johnson Blair, Fort St. John, B.C., 1:19.33; 4. Michelle Morton, Calgary, 1:20.19; 5. Isabelle Doucet, Ste-Foy, Que., 1:20.78; 6. Sylvie Cantin, Ste-Foy, Que., 1:20.89; 7. Leah Nattrass, Regina, 1:22.70; 8. Valerie Lemieux, Montreal, 1;23.20; 9. Krisy Myers, Calgary, 1:24.13; 10. Julie Pepin, Quebec, 1:24.82.
     Final sprint standings: 1. Le May Doan, 113.225; 2. Auch, 115.735; 3. Johnson Blair, 117.875; 4. Cantin, 120.175; 5. Doucet, 121.410; 6. Nattrass, 122.330; 7. Lemieux, 125.120; 8. Myers, 125.465; 9. Fleur Larocque, Ste-Foy, Que., 127.160; 10. Tara Risling, Calgary, 129.455.