Kristen Santos (Fairfield, Conn.) and Aaron Tran (Federal Way, Wash.) led the team efforts, just missing their chances to qualify for the semifinals in the 1000m. Both finished third in their respective heats behind a strong showing for Canada for the women, and China for the men. Ryan Pivirotto (Ann Arbor, Mich.) has his best world cup finish this season, finishing 10th in the 1500m.
The team continues to learn and gain experience with each passing race. Thomas Hong (Laurel, Md.), and Pivirotto suffered unfortunate falls, their skates catching divots in the ice that sent both sliding into the padded walls.
Hong was the last teammate standing for both the men and women in the 500m heats at the start of the day. Pivirotto’s fall ended the team’s chances for a win in the fast 5000m relay B Finals, consisting of Pivirotto, Andrew Heo (Warrington, Pa.), Hong, and Tran. The team was the top seed for the B Final following Saturday’s preliminary heats.
So many skaters were falling in fact; the first dozen heats saw skaters sliding on the ice and multiple penalties. Fortunately, all escaped injury.
Saturday was a day of struggles for the women, seeing both Maame Biney (Reston, Va.) and Corinne Stoddard (Lake Tapps, Wash.) penalized in their qualifying heats. Julie Letai (Medfield, Mass.) was the only member of the team to move on to the rep. quarterfinals.
Kim Boutin racing at home for Team Canada, continued her dominance in the 500m after setting a World Record in Utah last weekend. Boutin earned gold ahead of Italy’s Martina Valcepina and Poland’s Natalia Maliszewska. To cap the final weekend of international competition in North America, Team Hungary and Korea tied for gold in a thrilling photo finish for the 5000m A Final in one of the last races of the day.
Team USA will travel next to Asia following the Thanksgiving holiday, for the third installment of the season in Nagoya, Japan on November 29.
Men’s 5000m Relay – 7th
Ryan Pivirotto – 1500m – 10th
Kristen Santos – 1000m (1) – 11th
Aaron Tran – 1000m (2) – 11th
Brandon Kim – 1000m (1) – 12th
Kristen Santos – 1000m (2) – 13th
Corinne Stoddard – 1500m – 15th
Andrew Heo – 1000m (1) – 15th
Thomas Hong – 500m – 17th
Thomas Hong – 1500m – 19th
Maame Biney – 1000m (1) – 19th
“I feel really good. My racing is improving every World Cup and I’m learning a lot. Last season I wasn’t making any main event rounds and this season I’ve already made two B Finals in the first two world cups, which feels amazing. Going up from here!” – Corinne Stoddard
“Focus for the next couple of weeks is on making quicker and better decisions during the races. Focus will be on better relay exchanges. Last focus will be on the mental part so they will limit the many unnecessary mistakes.” – Wilma Boomstra
“My mind going into each race remained the same which is strong and confident. But over the course of the weekends of racing I was able to feel more calm during each race and I was able to respect my competition more. I still made mistakes that cost me important spots, but I was able to learn from the mistakes and was able to not make the same mistake happen again.” – Ryan Pivirotto
"I was most proud of my 1000m heat because I was more in the mix than I ever have been and I feel like I had a real shot at getting through, even though it didn't end up happening. I definitely learned a lot from that race. I would say my favorite moments were seeing Kim [Boutin] win gold twice again because it's so inspiring to see someone so good and also just watching other USA team members skating. Seeing their progress and successes inspires me more than anything." -- Julie Letai