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    Tuesday, January 6, 1998

    Overland, Cantin win race-offs

     CALGARY (CP) -- Kevin Overland of Kitchener, Ont., rocketed to a personal best Tuesday to earn the provisional fourth spot in the men's 1,000 metres at the long-track speed skating Olympic team trials.
     In the women's 1,000 race-off, Sylvie Cantin of Ste-Foy, Que., in her fourth attempt to make the Olympic team, was the upset winner and earned a ticket to Nagano.
     Overland clocked one minute, 10.45 seconds, missing the world record by three-tenths of a seconds.
     Jason Parker of Yorkton, Sask., was second in 1:11.30, Kevin Scott of Sault Ste Marie, Ont., third in 1:11.42 and Neal Marshall of Coquitlam, B.C., fourth in 1:12.18.
     "I really felt good and I got into my zone early in the race," said Overland, 23. "I actually died at the end a bit too much but overall I'm very pleased."
     Overland also earned the fourth provisional spot Monday in the 500 metres.
     The first three spots in the 1,000 were taken last week by Jeremy Wotherspoon of Red Deer, Alta., Sylvain Bouchard of Loretteville, Que., and Patrick Bouchard of Cap-Rouge, Que.
     In the women's 1,000, Cantin, a 10-year national team veteran, achieved her Olympic dream by winning the race-off against Calgary's Michelle Morton in a personal-best 1:19.16.
     Morton, who grabbed the fourth spot in the 500 on Monday, clocked 1:19.30, also a personal best.
     Catriona Le May Doan of Saskatoon, Susan Auch of Winnipeg and Linda Johnson Blair of Fort St. John, B.C., earned the first three spots in the 1,000 last week.
     The seventh and final day of the trials are today, with the 1,500 race-offs for men and women.
     The men's race pits Overland, Parker, Scott, Patrick Bouchard and Mark Knoll of Regina. Neal Marshall, ranked second in the world entering the event this season, is not expected to skate because of a lung infection. However, he can apply for a bye in the 1,500, which would be reviewed by the selection committee.
     For the women, Susan Massitti of Vermilion, Alta., faces Isabelle Doucet of Quebec City for the fourth spot.
     The Olympic team is scheduled to be confirmed today.
     CALGARY (CP) -- Tuesday's race-off results at the Canadian Olympic long-track speed skating team trials (all distances in metres):
     1,000 (winner earns fourth provisional spot for Olympics): 1. Kevin Overland, Kitchener, Ont., one minute, 10.45 seconds; 2. Jason Parker, Yorkton, Sask., 1:11.30; 3. Kevin Scott, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., 1:11.42; 4. Neal Marshall, Coquitlam, B.C., 1:12.18; 5. Eric Brisson, Ste-Foy, Que. 1:12.41.
     1,000 (winner qualifies for fourth Olympic spot): 1. Sylvie Cantin, Ste-Foy, 1:19.16; 2. Michelle Morton, Calgary, 1:19.30.