Bergsma, Mantia Win 1000m On Second Day Of U.S. Olympic Team Trials

Jan. 03, 2018, 9:16 p.m. (ET)

MILWAUKEE, Wisc. – The U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Long Track continued today in front of a second consecutive sellout crowd at the Pettit National Ice Center. Joey Mantia (Ocala, Fla.) and Heather Bergsma (High Point, N.C.) won their respective 1000m races and the top three men and top two women from each distance were named to the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team.

The top three men in the 1000m were separated by just 0.16 seconds with Mantia taking the top spot in 1:09.14.

“That was the tightest race for us for sure,” said Mantia. “The 1000m has legitimately six or seven guys that could actually get the spot. You can’t have a bad one.”

This will be Mantia’s second Olympic Games, as he qualified for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.

“This has been a big stresser. I feel like there is more pressure for Olympic Trials than there are for the Olympics, honestly. It was the same way last time. The first race going in is nerves at an all-time high,” said Mantia.

Shani Davis (Chicago, Ill.) punched his ticket to his fifth overall Olympic Games, his fourth in long track. The two-time Olympic Champion skated a 1:09.22 in the third to final pairing and had to wait to see if his time would stand.

“I went out there and fought like it was the last race of my career and I was able to get a spot on the team,” said Davis.

“I’m 35 years old. I’ve been making Olympic teams since I was 18, 19-years old, and I’ve had quite the career. I’m just honored to still be strong enough in this day and age. I’ve kept a solid head, stayed motivated and believed in myself. I’m really proud with myself that I was able to do it today.”

Wisconsin native Mitch Whitmore (Waukesha, Wisc.) turned in the fastest 600m split for the men in 25.00 seconds to finish in third with a time of 1:09.30. Whitmore qualified for his first 1000m at the Winter Olympics, having skated solely in the 500m during the 2010 and 2014 Games.

“It’s special to go to the Games in the 1000m,” said Whitmore. “I’ve always wanted to and I don’t want to be just a one-race skater.”

Bergsma ran away with the women’s 1000m in a time of 1:14.82. She was the only women to break the 1:15 mark.

“Now I can breathe a little bit more,” stated Bergsma. “I think I will now be able to have fun and relax this week.”

Bergsma has now made her third U.S. Olympic Team and will also look to qualify in the women’s 500m, 1500m and Mass Start events.

Brittany Bowe (Ocala, Fla.) will be skating in her second Olympic Games after a second-place finish in the women’s 1000m in 1:15.52.

“I’ve had a few really good weeks of training leading up to Trials and I’m happy to have a berth on the Olympic Team,” stated Bowe. “I have a few more races to go this week and then off to Korea.”

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 Thursday, January 4 with the women’s 5000m and men’s 10000m. Live coverage of the races will be on NBCSN beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Quotes from Joey Mantia

  • “This has been a big stresser. I feel like there is more pressure for Olympic Trials than there are for the Olympics, honestly. It was the same way last time. The first race going in is nerves at an all time high.”
  • “That was the tightest race for us for sure. The 1000m has legitimately six or seven guys that could actually get the spot. You can’t have a bad one.”
  • “I’m going to sleep well tonight. Last night I was up at three o’clock, four o’clock and five o’clock, tossing and turning. Just a high-stressed situation and it’s tough because it’s the Olympics. I’ve been doing this my whole life, but you never get use to that pressure, especially when the reality is you may not make it because there are six guys that are going for three spots.”

Quotes from Shani Davis

  • “I went out there and fought like it was the last race of my career and I was able to get a spot on the team.”
  • “It’s nice knowing that the race today wasn’t perfect but it was able to get me a spot on the team. I look forward to going up. I know there are some things that I can correct and once I focus on those things, I think I can put myself in higher rankings worldwide. I’m going to work on that, put my heart and soul in that, and skate with my hear.”
  • “I’m 35 years old. I’ve been making Olympic teams since I was 18, 19-years old, and I’ve had quite the career. I’m just honored to still be strong enough in this day and age. I’ve kept a solid head, stayed motivated and believed in myself. I’m really proud with myself that I was able to do it today.”

Quotes from Mitch Whitmore

  • “I’m a little shocked. I thought a couple of the other guys were skating really well and they are. I just had a really good race today and I’m super pumped about it.”
  • “I think I can relax more going into the 500m day knowing that I’m on the team. I’m excited to be doing the 1000m at the Olympics.”
  • “It’s special to go to the Games in the 1000m. I’ve always wanted to and I don’t want to be just a one-race skater.”

Quotes from Heather Bergsma

  • “It felt really good. I’m happy to have the first one out of the way and I was really happy with my first lap of 27.1 seconds.”
  • “Now I can breathe a little bit more. I think I will now be able to have fun and relax this week.”

Quotes from Brittany Bowe

  • “I’ve had a few really good weeks of training leading up to Trials and I’m happy to have a berth on the Olympic Team. I have a few more races to go this week and then off to Korea.”
  • “I’ve had to overcome a few battles and hurdles but it’s all part of it. No one has an easy ride. Everyone has something going on whether everyone knows about it or not. I think every skater has had to overcome something and we are all just doing the best we can.”