The first day of racing concluded at the U.S. Long Track National Championships at the Utah Olympic Oval with four national titles and four junior national titles awarded, and nearly every skater setting a season or personal best.
Kimi Goetz won her first 500m national title with a personal best time of 37.72 to take the top spot. Olympian Erin Jackson and Brianna Bocox finished second and third. Goetz and Jackson earned 500m spots at the World Single Distance (WSD) Championships to be held at the Oval in February. (Two-time Olympian Brittany Bowe is prequalified for the WSD in this distance.) All four ladies qualified for World Cup 5. Blair Cruikshank won the top 500m junior spot with a personal best (40.33) and a sixth place finish.
“I had a good opener, the fastest I’ve had yet,” Goetz said. “I’m looking forward to the 1000m tomorrow. There’s another spot open for world singles and I’m hoping I can get that.”
Ladies 500m – WSD 3 spots (Britt prequalified) – WC5 – 4 spots (Britt prequalified)
Kimi Goetz - 37.72 - PB
Erin Jackson - 38.15
Brianna Bocox - 38.47
Ladies 500m Junior
Blair Cruikshank - 40:33 - PB
Giorgia Birkeland - 41.67 - PB
Greta Myers - 41.96 - PB
Olympian Kimani Griffin skated a fast 35.16 to win the Men’s 500m, followed by Brett Perry and Will Gebauer. Team USA has no WSD spots in the Men’s 500, but Griffin and Perry qualify for World Cup 5 in Calgary. Jordan Stolz landed on the top of the podium for the junior 500m with a personal best 36.29.
Men’s 500m – No WSD spots – WC5 – 2 spots
Kimani Griffin - 35.16
Brett Perry - 35.48 - PB
Will Gebauer - 35.75 - PB
Men’s 500m Junior
Jordan Stolz – 36.29 – PB
Jonathan Tobon – 36.86 – PB
Casey Dawson – 37.29 - PB
Olympic medalist Mia Kilburg skated to her fifth 3000m national title. She finished in 4:12.81 and qualified for the one 3000m WSD spot. Paige Schwartzburg crossed the finish line in second place (4:17.78) to earn a spot on the World Cup 5 team. Abigail Sorensen took the 3000m junior title with a personal best time of 4:32.42.
“I stayed pretty relaxed for the whole race,” Schwartzburg said. “I’m definitely happy with it. It’s probably the best one I’ve skated this season. Just gonna keep rollin’.”
Ladies 3000m – WSD 1 spot – WC5 – 2 spots
Mia Kilburg - 4:12.81
Paige - 4:17.78
Rebecca Simmons 4:27.59
Ladies 3000m Junior
Abigail Sorensen - 4:32.42 - PB
Greta Meyers - 4:39.88 - PB
Thalia Staehle - 4:46.73
Two-time Olympian Emery Lehman secured the Men’s 5000m title, crossing the finish line in 6:21.88. He was followed by Dawson and Ethan Cepuran. Using a new strategy he’s excited to implement throughout the season, Dawson’s personal best time of 6:34.90 also earned him the 5000m junior title. “It always feels good to be on the podium,” he said.
Men’s 5000m – WSD 0 spots – WC5 – 1 spot
Emery Lehman - 6:21.88
Casey Dawson - 6:34.90 - PB
Ethan Cepuran - 6:37.69
Men’s 5000m Junior
Casey Dawson – 6:34.90 - PB
Jonathan Tobon – 6:52.02
Jordan Stolz – 6:52.16
Racing continues tomorrow at 9 a.m. (MT) with the Ladies, Men’s and Junior 1000m and Mass Start events.
“Right now my goal is to build towards worlds. This competition is important to make the team for worlds. We have one spot in the 3K and 5K and two in the mass start. I’m hoping to peak for worlds in February.” – Mia Kilburg
“I got a PB in the 500 and 3K. I was hoping to be a little faster in the 500 but I’m happy about it. During the 3000m, I just kept looking at the lap board. When it said three laps, I thought, okay, it’s like doing a 1500 and I can do that. I want to keep improving and not worry about placement. I’m going to keep working hard and keep going after the world cup girls.” – Blair Cruikshank