World Cup speedskating event wraps up in SLC
November 14, 2014
The ISU Short Track World Cup came to a close on Sunday at the Utah Olympic Oval on The Fastest Ice on Earth. Team USA, which had 8 of its 12 members competing in their first World Cup event, had a respectable showing.
The weekend was highlighted by John-Henry Krueger’s gold medal-winning performance in an action-packed 500-meter race.
"I’m happy about today’s gold medal," he said. "Hopefully I’ll have more in the future, with more consistent results. I’m really excited to grow with the new U.S. team and hopefully we’ll have more success in the future."
Jessica Smith battled her way out of the repechage rounds to set a national record in the ladies’ 500m semifinal event, qualifying for the B final and taking eighth place. In the semifinal, Smith clocked a time of 43.046 seconds. China’s Kexin Fan broke the world record with a time of 42.504 in the same race.
Emily Scott and Jacqueline Chen represented Team USA in the 1,000m event, with Scott finishing 15th and Chen taking 14th in her first World Cup appearance. On the men’s side, Ryan Pivirotto placed 12th in the 1,000m in his first World Cup event.
"I’m pleased with being able to hit the speeds that I was hitting today in the 500m," said Smith. "I skated the best that I ever have, so I’m excited to start the season off by setting the U.S. national record and skating in the semi with a new world record. I’m feeling excited for the future of the season and looking forward to the Montreal World Cup."
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In an exciting men’s relay final, Pivirotto, Keith Carroll, and brothers John-Henry and Cole Krueger captured the bronze medal, with the ladies skating in the B final taking eighth place. Both teams captured valuable World Cup points in qualifying a relay team for the World Championships.
Ladies Kimberley Goetz, Tamara Frederick, Katie Ralston and men’s athletes Cole Krueger, Keith Carroll, Soo An Yoo and Jake Powers failed to advance past the repechage and preliminary rounds of their individual races, but gained valuable racing experience as they look ahead to the next five World Cups. This week, the teams move to Montreal, Canada, for competition Nov. 14-16.
Jonathan Cavar, who has taken the head coaching role this season, reflected on the conclusion of his first World Cup event, saying, "The U.S. team performed exceptionally well this weekend. They handled themselves very professionally. For a rookie team with little experience on the World Cup scene, we saw some great skating, including John-Henry’s gold medal performance in the 500 and the team relay medal as well. I think they’re showing that they can be competitive with the rest of the world. Even though they’re young and they’ve got a lot to learn, they’re ready to learn and they’re learning fast."
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