Rough First Day at the ISU Short Track World Cup in Calgary

Nov. 02, 2018, 9:50 p.m. (ET)

By Rebecca Reza

Team USA kicked off its season at the ISU Short Track World Cup Short Track in Calgary, Canada, marking the first international races for U.S. athletes for the 2018-19 season.

The first day of racing was marred with penalties and crashes, taking Maame Biney out of the 500(1). Her 500m(2) was better and she will race in the repechage quarterfinals on Sunday morning. The women’s relay team, featuring Biney, Corinne Stoddard, Danielle Amos and Kristen Santos finished third in the quarterfinals, and did not advance. Santos finished second in her 1500m quarterfinals, moving to the semis.

 Aaron Tran, Aaron Heo and Jonathan So did not advance from the 1500m quarterfinals, but will skate in the repechage quarterfinals on Saturday. Thomas Hong qualified for the quarterfinals in the 1000m. The men’s 5000m relay team finished third, advancing them to the semifinals.

2018 marks the debut of the mixed relay category in World Cup racing. Team USA won their heat after France was penalized and knocked out of the top spot.

Highlights from Day 1 (November 2)

  • Thomas Hong wins his heat in the 1000m
  • Corinne Stoddard, Kristen Santos, and Danielle Amos, move to the repechage quarterfinals for the 1000m .
  •  Aaron Tran, Aaron Heo and Jonathan So move to the repechage events in the World Cup men’s 1500m.
  • Mixed Relay team of Kristen Santos, Maame Biney, Thomas Hong, Aaron Tran makes their debut in World Cup racing, winning their heat with a time of 2:40.032. Biney was the starter, with Hong anchoring the squad.

Quotes-

 “It was an overall rough first day, with some great things as well,” said USS Short Track National Team Head Coach Wilma Boomstra. “There were first world cup jitters for the young skaters, causing some unnecessary mistakes and penalties. Thomas, Aaron and Kristen skated very well. We got through the men’s relay.”

“I was way too nervous in my first 500  . . . and then that penalty really got into my head,” said 2018 Olympian Maame Biney. “The second 500, I was too scared to even go because I didn’t want to get another penalty. For the mixed relay, I felt pretty good about that, there were just minor mistakes, like not counting right. But we’re not going to make that mistake tomorrow."

“It was really fun to be racing at the world cup again,” said 2018 Olympian Thomas Hong. “A lot of people, internationally, came prepared, so it made for some interesting races. I’m happy with where I’m at right now, and I’m excited for the future.”

“I felt very good after my 1500 and was happy with how my race went,” said Kristen Santos. “in the 1000, things didn’t go so well. I fell, but I think I learned a lot about leading the race rather than having to stick directly with my original plan since things went different than I expected. In the relays, honestly I think it was the best the team has done in the relays. I’m really happy with how the team pulled together today.”

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