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Carlijn Schoutens First Skater Named To 2018 U.S. Olympic Team For Long Track

Jan. 02, 2018, 9 p.m. (ET)

The U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Long Track began today from the sold out Pettit National Ice Center with the women’s 3000m and men’s 5000m events. Carlijn Schoutens (Heemstede, Netherlands) was the first skater named to the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team, winning the women’s 3000m.

Skating in the final pair with Petra Acker (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), Schoutens came out of the gates fast, knowing exactly what she needed to win the U.S. Olympic spot in the women’s 3000m.

“It’s been a goal for a long time and to make it happen is just unbelievable,” said Schoutens. “I get to go to the Olympics in the 3000-meter and I couldn’t be happier.”

Schoutens turned in the top time of 4:14.02, beating out second-place finisher Mia Manganello (Crestview, Fla.) who skated 4:15.73. Acker took the third-fastest spot in 4:18.84.

“Once I got past the middle portion, I was feeling pretty confident. My legs were still there and I thought if I could carry it through then I would be fine.”

Born in New Jersey to parents from the Netherlands, Schoutens moved back and forth between the two countries most of her life. She started skating for Team USA in the 2014 season.

On the men’s side, it was 2014 Olympian Emery Lehman (Oak Park, Ill.) who came out on top for the national champion crown in the 5000m. Teamed with Jeffrey Swider-Peltz Jr. (Chicago, Ill.) in the penultimate pair, the two were chasing Ian Quinn’s (St. Louis, Mo.) time of 6:32.957.

As the two battled through each 400m split often trading lead times, Lehman crossed the finish line with the night’s fastest 5000m in 6:27.906. Quinn’s time would hold up for second place and Swider-Peltz Jr. finished third in a personal best 6:34.184.

“My pair with Jeffrey [Swider-Peltz] was a good pair,” said Lehman. “He pushed the pace a bit which was nice because if I had been on my own without a good pair I would have been too slow in the beginning. I usually just keep my head down until I start getting tired. I look up with four or five laps to go and then I try to drop it.”

Team USA currently holds the third reserve in the men’s 5000m for the Olympics.

“I’m just taking it one week at a time. Whether I skate at the Olympics in this race or not, isn’t in my hands. I just wanted to go out there and skate technically-well and have a good race, I think that happened for the most part.”

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

The entire U.S. Olympic Long Track Speedskating Team will be formally named at the conclusion of the week’s races and will consist of a maximum of eight men and eight women skaters, subject to approval by the United States Olympic Committee.

Racing continues on Wednesday, January 3 with the men’s and women’s 1000m. Live coverage of the races will be on NBCSN beginning at 6 p.m. ET.

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 Long Track Speedskating to be held at the Gangneung Oval, which will have a seating capacity of 8,000.

Quotes from Carlijn Schoutens

  • “It’s been a goal for a long time and to make it happen is just unbelievable. I get to go to the Olympics in the 3000-meter and I couldn’t be happier.”
  • “Once I got past the middle portion, I was feeling pretty confident. My legs were still there and I thought if I could carry it through then I would be fine.”
  • “I’ve been trying a couple of different things this year (in the 3000-meter). I had a couple opportunities to practice and the option that seems to work best for me is starting out fast. I think it’s a pretty good idea for this race because it’s pretty hard to keep the speed, so the more speed you have in the beginning the more you will hold at the end. So, I started fast and held onto it as long as I could.”

Quotes from Emery Lehman

  • “My pair with Jeffrey [Swider-Peltz] was a good pair. He pushed the pace a bit which was nice because if I had been on my own without a good pair I would have been too slow in the beginning. I usually just keep my head down until I start getting tired. I look up with four or five laps to go and then I try to drop it.”
  • “I’m just taking it one week at a time. Whether I skate at the Olympics in this race or not, isn’t in my hands. I just wanted to go out there and skate technically-well and have a good race, I think that happened for the most part.”
  • “I think everyone went into today just trying to win and hoping that, we are second priority right now, so hoping a spot will open up (in the Olympics). If not, I just wanted to race a good 5k.”

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