US Speedskating Unveils Experienced Long Track World Cup Team

By Todd Kortemeier | Oct. 17, 2017, 5:18 p.m. (ET)
Heather Bergsma competes in the women's 1,000-meter at the ISU World Cup on Dec. 11, 2016 in Heerenveen, Netherlands.

 

An experienced group will take the ice for Team USA when the ISU World Cup Speed Skating underway in Heerenveen, Netherlands on Nov. 10.

US Speedskating announced the 2017-18 long track world cup team on Tuesday, following four days of qualifying competition at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns, Utah.

Six of the seven members of the men’s team are Olympians, including four-time Olympic medalist Shani Davis. Two-time Olympian and 2010 team pursuit silver medalist Brian Hansen joins Davis as the only other American man with Olympic hardware.

The remaining four Olympians include reigning mass start world champion Joey Mantia, two-time Olympian and American-record holder Mitch Whitmore and 2014 Olympians Jonathan Garcia and Emery Lehman. Olympic hopeful Jeffrey Swider-Peltz Jr., the son of four-time Olympian Nancy Swider-Peltz, completes the men’s team.

The women’s side is brimming with Olympic and world championship experience as well, most notably four-time world champions Heather Bergsma and Brittany Bowe. They are joined on the team by 2014 Olympians Sugar Todd and Kelly Gunther.

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The rest of the women’s team includes Mia Manganello, who just missed out on the team for the Olympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010, and returned to the sport in 2016 after a pro cycling career. Paige Schwartzburg returns to the world cup team for her third straight season alongside Petra Acker and Carlijn Schoutens.

One notable absence from the team is four-time Olympian KC Boutiette. The 47-year-old is striving to become the oldest Olympic speedskater since 1924. Boutiette became the oldest skater ever to earn a world cup medal when he took silver in a mass start last season. Also missing from last year’s world cup team are Kimani Griffin, Ian Quinn and Jerica Tandiman. More skaters are expected to be announced at a later date for the fourth world cup in Salt Lake City.

The 15 skaters on the team will seek to qualify country quota spots for the Olympic Winter Games at four ISU World Cup events. After Heerenveen, the schedule will take Team USA to Stavanger, Norway and Calgary, Alberta before heading back home to home ice with the final world cup in Salt Lake City.

Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.