Salt Lake City, UT (PRWEB) September 27, 2012
The speedskating season officially got underway today with the start of the U.S. Single Distance Short Track Championships, also known as the Fall Trials. The event is being held all weekend at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns, UT.
Today’s races featured the best short trackers from around the country—including Olympians JR Celski (Federal Way, WA), Lana Gehring (Northbrook, IL), Travis Jayner (Midland, MI) and Alyson Dudek (Hales Corners, WI)—in 9- and 4-lap time trials.
World Cup bronze medalist Jessica Smith (Melvindale, MI) finished first in the women’s 9-lap (1:30.260) time trial, followed in second place by Sarah Chen (San Marino, CA / 1:32.893) and Tamara Fredrick (Park Ridge, IL / 1:33.113) in third place.
In the men’s 9-lap time trial, newcomer Chris Creveling (Kintnersville, PA) finished first with a time of 1:23.987, followed by Olympian JR Celski (Federal Way, WA / 1:24:113) and Keith Carroll (Philadelphia, PA / 1:24.629), who rounded out the top three finishers.
Starting the competition out with a bang, Jessica Smith also took first in the 4-lap time trial (39.849), followed by Olympian Lana Gehring (Northbrook, IL / 40.382) and Sarah Chen (40.482) who finished in third place.
Chris Creveling took first in the men’s 4-lap time trial (37.191), Keith Carroll was second (37.282) and Simon Cho (Baltimore, MD / 37.305) finished third.
“Overall I was happy with my race. I just skated a personal best, so it went really well for me. That was all I was looking for—to skate well, get a personal best and make podium,” said Jessica Smith. “Going into the rest of the competition, it gives me a little confidence, of course, but racing is always different. Now I have to focus and prepare for every other day to come.”
The time trials count toward the overall and individual distance classifications. The results from the trials are also used to seed athletes in the individual distance races (500m, 1000m, 1500m) coming up later this weekend. And while the overall Single Distance Champions will be named on Sunday, there is more on the line then just a National Title. Athletes are also competing for a berth on the World Cup team. Only six men and six women will be named to the World Cup team—the first World Cup of the season is scheduled for October 19th in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
“I'm really excited about the rest of the competition. It is really tight competition and should be good racing,” said Chris Creveling.
For complete results from today, visit http://usspeedskating.org/athletes/results.
Tomorrow’s competition gets underway at 10:30 am MST. Skaters will be competing in the first of two 500m and 1500m races. You can follow all the action this weekend throughout the Championships on our Facebook page (facebook.com/usspeedskating) or on Twitter (twitter.com/usspeedskating). And be sure to check the US Speedskating website (usspeedskating.org) for complete results and coverage at the end of each day.