2012 US Junior National Short Track Speedskating Championships Kick-Off on 1/27
WOODBRIDGE, VA – Over 70 top junior short track speed skaters, ages 13-19, will vie for a berth on the U.S. Junior World Championship team at the 3-day U.S. Junior National Short Track Speedskating Championships, presented by Prince William Hospital in Manassas, Virginia. The eight U.S. Junior skaters selected at the January 27-29, 2012 meet will compete in the World Junior Short Track Championships taking place just weeks later in Melbourne, Australia. The Junior Nationals are an important stepping stone to a possible future Olympic Games selection, in a sport where more U.S. Winter Olympic medals have been won than in any other sport.
Prince William Hospital is the presenting sponsor of this weekend’s championship. “We are delighted this national championship is being held in our community, and we are proud to support these young athletes,” said Mary Beth Gibson, hospital spokesperson. The events are expected to draw over 1,000 skaters and families, officials, volunteers from all over the U.S. including hundreds of local spectators from the greater Washington metropolitan region who will be on hand to watch the future of short-track speed skating in heart-stopping action. This meet is the inaugural short-track speedskating event at the brand-new Prince William Ice Center in Woodbridge, rebuilt from scratch after a devastating snowstorm in February 2010 destroyed the facility.
Favored by many to make his third U.S. Junior World team and defend his U.S. Junior Championship crown, U.S. National team member John-Henry Krueger (Pittsburgh, PA) is looking forward to competing at this new venue. “I started speed skating in the DC area, and my mother would drive me and my brother Cole here nearly every weekend to train because we didn’t have speed skating in Pittsburgh,” he commented. “I think I’ll be very competitive at this year’s Junior World Championships in Melbourne, and that’s been an objective of mine all season,” he added. Krueger, 16, finished 4th two weeks ago at the U.S. Short-Track Championships and has qualified for the U.S. (senior) World Cup team and will depart immediately after the Junior Championships for World Cup 5 in Moscow.
The Virginia/Maryland/DC area is a hotbed for short-track speedskating clubs and programs in the U.S. These non-profit speed skating clubs have joined forces to host this event under the leadership of Scott Koons, Meet Director, 1998 Olympian and Head Coach of the Virginia Speedskating Club with help from the Potomac Speedskating Club and the Prince William Ice Center and Prince William Speedskating Club.
Racing will begin at 11 am daily. Admission is free. Watch the races live at SHORTTRACKHD's