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Lana Gehring And John-Henry Krueger Earn First Two Short Track Spots On U.S. Olympic Team

Dec. 16, 2017, 12:04 a.m. (ET)

KEARNS, Utah – The U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Short Track began today from the Utah Olympic Oval with the men’s and women’s 1500m. Lana Gehring (Glenview, Ill.) and John-Henry Krueger (Pittsburgh, Pa.) were the overall winners in their respective events and are the first two short track athletes named to the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team. 

A member of the 2010 Olympic bronze medal-winning women’s relay team, Gehring will return to the Games for the second time after sweeping the women’s 1500m events on Friday night.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with my performance,” Gehring said after the overall awards presentation. “The first day is a lot of races. It’s Olympic Trials, anything can happen as you saw with that restart, so yeah, it’s always a surprise, and you are really grateful and thankful for the performances you do have.”

The women’s 1500m (#2) A Final, arguably the most entertaining race of the night, featured three Olympians, two of which would be penalized at various points of the race. Katherine Reutter-Adamek (Champaign, Ill.) was penalized when she caused a race-stopping crash. After the restart, Jessica Kooreman (Melvindale, Mich.) was penalized for a kick-out as she sprawled across the finish line.

After a 1500m (#1) second-place finish and 1500m (#2) win, Krueger will be heading to his first Olympic Games.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Krueger. “The first couple of seconds, I couldn’t believe it. As soon as I was hugging my mom and saw her crying, I knew I wasn’t going to wake up from a dream.”

In the men’s 1500m (#1), Krueger put himself in great position, edging out Adam Callister (Salt Lake City, Utah) for the second-place finish. That momentum continued into the second 1500m, where he crossed the line first in both of his heats.

“I feel stronger and more confident [compared to 2014] in my skating,” Krueger said. “The first two rounds were a little rusty. That’s normal for me. In most competitions it takes time for me to warm up and get a feel for the competition but all that matters is that second round at the end, and I was able to shine through and take the win.”

For results, post-race interviews and other media information, visit the US Speedskating Media page here.

The entire U.S. Olympic Short Track Speedskating Team will be formally named at the conclusion of the weekend’s races and will consist of five men and three women skaters, subject to approval by the United States Olympic Committee.

Racing continues on Saturday with the men’s and women’s 500m. Live coverage of the races will be on NBC beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET. The weekend’s coverage concludes Sunday with live coverage of men’s and women’s 1000m at 1 p.m. ET on NBC.

The Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 will be held in South Korea from February 9-25, 2018. Both Long and Short Track will be held in the Gangneung coastal cluster with all Olympic competitions for Short Track Speedskating to be held at the Gangneung Ice Arena, which will also be the host of Figure Skating, and has a seating capacity of 12,000. 

Quote from Lana Gehring, 1500m Women’s Overall Winner

  • “I couldn’t be more pleased with my performance. The first day is a lot of races. It’s Olympic Trials, anything can happen as you saw with that restart, so yeah, it’s always a surprise, and you are really grateful and thankful for the performances you do have.”

Quotes from John-Henry Krueger, 1500m Men’s Overall Winner

  • “It’s a dream come true. The first couple of seconds, I couldn’t believe it. As soon as I was hugging my mom and saw her crying, I knew I wasn’t going to wake up from a dream.”
  • “I feel stronger and more confident [compared to 2014] in my skating. The first two rounds were a little rusty. That’s normal for me. In most competitions it takes time for me to warm up and get a feel for the competition but all that matters is that second round at the end, and I was able to shine through and take the win.”