Racing continued today at the U.S. Long Track Championships at the Utah Olympic Oval. Up for grabs were the 1000m national/junior titles and the Mass Start national/junior titles.
Kimi Goetz, who won her first 500m national title yesterday, skated to a first place finish and national title in the 1000m (1:14.24). Brianna Bocox and Olympian Mia Kilburg finished second and third. Goetz and Bocox earned 1000m 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.)
“I just don’t count this is a national championship title with Brittany [Bowe] not racing. It’s nice, but I feel I still came in second,” Goetz said. “Ryan [Shimabukuro] and I picked apart my 1000m last night to make some improvements. It’s nice to have a competition like this where the pressure is off a little and you can change things up and improve.”
Blair Cruikshank won the 1000m junior national title, skating a personal best time of 1:20.95. With one race to go (the 1500m), Cruikshank leads the Junior Ladies in overall race point totals while Casey Dawson leads the men.
Ladies 1000m– WSD 3 spots (Bowe prequalified) – WC5 – 3 spots (Bowe prequalified)
Kimi Goetz – 1:14.24
Brianna Bocox – 1:15.97 – PB
Mia Kilburg – 1:16.63 - PB
Ladies 1000m Junior
Blair Cruikshank – 1:20.95 - PB
Abigail Sorensen – 1:23.21 - PB
Sydney Terpening – 1:23.45 – PB
Two-time Olympian Joey Mantia skated to a season-best time of 1:07.84 to win the 1000m national title and the one WSD spot. Mantia has won two Mass Start World Cup medals this season, a gold and a silver.
“My focus moving forward is 100 percent on mass start,” he said. “The 1000 for me is just a training race for the 1500. I think I have the motor to be good internationally in the 1000 but the speed from a start just isn’t there right now.”
Mens 1000m – 1 WSD spot – WC5 – 3 spots
Joey Mantia – 1:07.84 SB
Kimani Griffin – 1:09.13 - SB
Conor McDermott-Mostowy – 1:09.27 PB
Mens 1000m Junior
Casey Dawson – 1:11.23 - PB
Jordan Stolz – 1:11.25 - PB
Jonathan Tobon -1:11.78 - PB
In the Ladies Mass Start, Kilburg skated to a gold medal and national title, followed by Paige Schwartzburg and Rebecca Simmons.
Schwartzburg last raced a WSD in Kolomna, Russia in 2016. “It’s very exciting because it’s always nice to qualify your spot for world singles. It’s also nice to have the event here at home. So now, it’s hard training until singles,” she said.
Ladies Mass Start - 2 WSD spots (Kilburg prequalified)
Ladies Junior Mass Start
Ian Quinn landed on the podium at the Men’s Mass Start event, winning gold, the national title and a first-time spot on the WSD team. “It’s exciting and kind of a long road to get there,” Quinn said. “It’s in a distance that’s one of my favorites. It’s kind of a frustrating but still a lot of fun to skate it.”
Men's Mass Start - 2 WSD spots (Mantia prequalified)
Men's Junior Mass Start
The final day of racing starts tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. with the Ladies and Men’s 1500m, Ladies 5000m, Mens 10000m and Team Pursuit.
“I’ll do some top-end work in the coming weeks, but mostly in the context of the mass start. If that happens to carry over for worlds in time trials, then great. But my eye is on pack-style as we approach the Olympics,” Mantia said.
“With the weekend not over yet, I hope to have a couple more events to wrap my head around. I’m honored to have another opportunity to race for USA,” Kilburg said.
“I’m excited what Joey [Mantia] and I can do at world singles. It will be fast, obviously, because of the ice here. Hopefully, we can do something seeing how it’s the home field,” Quinn said.
"For the mass start, I had a plan going into it and I made sure I executed it at the right time. Going forward, I want to keep on improving technique and chipping away at my times leading up to the junior world championships, and possibly podium there," said Dawson.
"I was happy with the first 600m of my race but I definitely know I have more in me. My focus for singles is to keep improving in little, technical things and to have the whole race strategy come together in front of a big crowd," Bocox said.