Bergsma Brings Home First Gold Of The Season At World Cup Calgary

Dec. 02, 2017, 6:37 p.m. (ET)

Heather Bergsma (High Point, N.C.) captured Team USA’s first gold of the 2017-18 ISU Long Track season, winning the women’s 1000m on the second day of racing from the Olympic Oval in Calgary, Canada. The other events that were skated today were the men’s 1000m, the men’s and women’s Team Pursuit and the men’s and women’s Mass Start semifinals.

Skating in the penultimate pair, Bergsma sat in third at the 600m mark with a time of 44.64 but closed with a 28.7 final lap to catapult herself into the lead. The reigning 1000m World Champion turned in her fastest time in the 1000m of the season in 1:13.37.

“It feels good to back on top of the podium,” said Bergsma. “I don’t feel like my skating is the best it can be, and it wasn’t a perfect race, but I’m happy to continue making steps in each race.”

Jonathan Garcia (Houston, Texas) found the podium for the first time this season, finishing second in the men’s 1000m B Division in a season-best time of 1:07.83.

“I feel like things are moving in a positive direction,” said Garcia. “I’ve made my share of mistakes, but that being said my times are getting faster. We have a month and one day until our Olympic Trials, and hopefully everything comes together there and I have good momentum.”

The 2014 Olympian finished 0.69 seconds behind Netherland’s Hein Otterspeer (1:07.14) and would have finished 11th in the A Division.

Both Bergsma and Mia Manganello (Crestview Fla.) advanced in the women’s Mass Start semifinal, with each finishing fifth in their respective races. Manganello finished fifth by winning the third prime lap, while Bergsma won the first prime lap of her race.

In the men’s Mass Start semifinal, Joey Mantia (Ocala, Fla.) advanced to the final with an eighth-place finish in the second heat, while Jeffrey Swider-Peltz (Chicago, Ill.) did not advance with a 12th-place finish in the first heat.

U.S. men had three skaters race in the 1000m A Division, with Mantia finishing 10th (1:07.82), Shani Davis (Chicago, Ill.) placing 13th (1:08.09) and Brian Hansen (Glenview, Ill.) skating a 19th-place finish (1:09.11).

The women’s Team Pursuit of Petra Acker (Clifton Park, N.Y.), Manganello and Carlijn Schoutens (Heemstede, Netherlands) skated to an eighth-place finish in a time of 3:02.16, while the men’s Team Pursuit of Hansen, Emery Lehman (Oak Park, Ill.) and Joey Mantia (Ocala Fla,) did not finish due to a fall by Lehman going into the final lap.

Mitch Whitmore (Waukesha, Wisc.) just missed the podium in the men’s 1000m B Division, placing fourth in a time of 1:08.28. He was just 0.27 seconds behind third-place finisher Haralds Silovs from Latvia.

For full race results, click here.

Following World Cup Calgary, the U.S. team will return to Salt Lake City for the fourth World Cup on Dec. 8-10. The Utah Olympic Oval will play host to over 300 international skaters from over 60 different countries in the final qualification opportunity for countries before the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. Tickets are available now and can be purchased at SmithsTix.com and all Smith’s Tix locations.

Watch World Cup Calgary on the Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, all weekend long. The second day of racing will air at 9:00-11:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, December 2.

The final day of racing from Calgary will be on Sunday with the men’s and women’s 500m, 1500m and Mass Start final. The B Division is scheduled to start at approximately 9:35 a.m. local time (11:35 a.m. EST) and the A Division will start at 12:30 p.m. local (2:30 p.m. EST).

Highlights from World Cup Calgary Day 2 (Dec. 2)

  • Heather Bergsma collected her third World Cup medal of the season, a gold in the women’s 1000m…it was Team USA’s first Long Track gold medal of the year and her 36th career World Cup medal in the 1000m (21 gold, 11 silver, 4 bronze).
  • Heather Bergsma, Mia Manganello and Joey Mantia all advanced to their respective Mass Start Finals…Bergsma and Manganello both finished fifth in their respective women’s Mass Start semifinals, while Mantia placed eighth in his men’s Mass Start semifinal.
  • Jonathan Garcia found the podium for the first time this season, finishing second in the men’s 1000m B Division in a season-best time of 1:07.83.
  • Mantia, Shani Davis, and Brian Hansen all skated in the men’s 1000m, finishing 10th, 13th and 19th, respectively.
  • Mitch Whitmore just missed the men’s 1000m B Division podium, placing fourth in a time of 1:08.28.
  • US Speedskating has withdrawn Brittany Bowe from this weekend’s ISU World Cup Calgary due to an illness. She is scheduled to compete at World Cup Salt Lake City on Dec. 8-10.

Quote from women’s 1000m gold medalist Heather Bergsma
“It feels good to back on top of the podium. I don’t feel like my skating is the best it can be, and it wasn’t a perfect race, but I’m happy to continue making steps in each race.”

Quote from Jonathan Garcia on his 1000m B Division podium
“I feel like things are moving in a positive direction. I’ve made my share of mistakes, but that being said my times are getting faster. We have a month and one day until our Olympic Trials, and hopefully everything comes together then and I have good momentum.”