There's no shortage of talent and battle-worn experience on the Canadian men's speed skating squad this year. But the man with the hot hand heading into the Olympics just might be the unheralded Lucas Makowsky.
He doesn't have world championships and Olympic medals like Denny Morrison or Jeremy Wotherspoon, but the one thing Makowsky, 22, of Regina, can lay claim to these days is a pretty solid winning streak.
He won the men's 5,000-metre race at the Olympic trials in Calgary yesterday, edging out Morrison and securing a ticket to Vancouver in that event.
The victory comes a month after Makowsky turned in the biggest race of his career when he took silver in the 1,500 metres in Norway, winning his first World Cup medal. Morrison, also a specialist in that distance, did not compete in that race.
"It's all progress for me right now," Makowsky said after yesterday's win. "Of course the goal is going to be to perform at the Games and as long as I keep improving like I am this fall, then it's all I can ask for." Makowsky and Morrison claimed the two spots up for grabs at the trials for the 5,000 metres in Vancouver. Mathieu Giroux, who Canada is hoping to have on its team pursuit squad, finished third putting the pressure on him to qualify in other distances later this week so he can be added to the pursuit group.
Makowsky managed a time of 6:24.58, edging out Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., who had a time of 6:25.40. Giroux, who hails from Montreal, finished at 6:25.74.