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Skating: Canada Wins 3 of 4 Races

November 17, 1997

ROSEVILLE, Minn. (AP) _ Susan Auch and Catriona LeMay-Doan won the women’s 500 and 1,00 and Jeremy Wotherspoon won the men’s 1,000 as Canada won three of four events Sunday in the final day of a World Cup speedskating event.

Auch put together a strong final 100 to catch Franziska Schenk of Germany in the 500 in 39.86, breaking the track record of 40.65 set in February 1996 by Tomomi Okazaki.

LeMay-Doan, who won the 500 on Saturday, settled for second on Sunday in 39.90. Schenk was third in 39.98. LeMay-Doan also won Sunday’s 1,000 meters.

The weekend marked the first international competition for Americans on Dutch-developed skates, which have blades hinged at the toe to allow the entire runner to stay in contact with the ice as the skater glides.

``I think that we’ve learned that the clap skates are the only way that you can win,″ Auch said. ``We had proven that they make a difference in the distance events last year, but now we have proven that it’s the same in the sprints.″

Chris Witty of West Allis, Wis., was the top American finisher in both women’s events on Sunday. She finished fourth in the 1,000 in 1:22.69 and was seventh in the 500 in 40.86.

Wotherspoon set his second track record of the weekend and got the second World Cup victory of the weekend and of his career in taking the men’s 500 in 36.87. Wotherspoon won the 1,000 on Saturday.

Yasunori Miyabe of Japan won the silver in 36.99 and Grunde Njos of Norway got his second bronze of the weekend in 37.06.

Casey FitzRandolph of Verona, Wis., was the top American, finishing sixth at 37.27.

In the men’s 1,000, Jakko Jan Leeuwangh of the Netherlands won his first World Cup race in 1:13.80, breaking Wotherspoon’s day-old track record by .72 seconds. Wotherspoon was second in 1:13.88 and Jan Bos of the Netherlands was third in 1:13.98.

FitzRandolph was the top American, finishing ninth in 1:15.46.

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