KEARNS, Utah (January 7, 2012) – Close finishes and disappointing falls marked the second day of the 2012 U.S. Short Track National Championships. Lana Gehring (Glenview, IL) and Simon Cho (Baltimore, MD) continue to lead overall standings going into tomorrow’s final day of competition.
Gehring swept both distances - 500m and 1500m – today. With a commanding lead, she crossed the line in the 1500m with a time of 2:35.222, followed by Emily Scott (Springfield, MO) at 2:35.634, and Alyson Dudek (Hales Corners, WI) in third with a time of 2:36.300.
“I felt pretty strong, and I was excited to come back strong from yesterday,” said Gehring. In the final laps of the race, Gehring pulled ahead of the pack, with reigning 1500m World Champion Katherine Reutter (Champaign, IL) in second place, and Jessica Smith (Melvindale, MI) a close third. “ I started to take off and I felt good and knew I had the momentum, so I kept going,” said Gehring.
In the final lap of the race, Reutter caught an edge and fell, as did Smith who was attempting to pass Reutter. “I tried to hold on as long as I could, but we were both trying to be in the same place at same time,” said Reutter. “Fifth place is not where I want to be in my best distance, but it is what it is. I’m disappointed with my results today, but it’s where I’m at and where my body is allowing me to be. Tomorrow I will continue to skate within my ability and see what my body will allow me to do,” added Reutter.
Gehring topped the 500m and clinched the distance title with a time of 44.62, followed by Dudek at 44.765, and Scott in third posting 44.963.
John-Henry Krueger (Pittsburgh, PA) won today’s 1500m title in a very close finish posting 2:20.937, followed by Cho at 2:20.942, and Travis Jayner (Midland, MI) in third with a time of 2:20.993.
“I started passing people and really just remember the end,” said Krueger reflecting on the race. “There was some rough skating in the last corner, but I prevailed.” At 16, Krueger is the youngest member of the 2011-12 Fall World Cup squad. Fighting a cold and fever, he was pleased with today’s victory. “Having a victory like that in the condition I’m in is a real accomplishment. I just went out there and did what I like to do.”
Cho, the reigning 2011 500m World Champion won the U.S. title today posting a time of 42.783. Jordan Malone (Denton, TX) took second with a time of 42.932, followed by Jayner in third at 43.219.
“There were a lot of races today, and physically I’m exhausted,” explained Cho. “I’m ready to start fresh tomorrow and enter the last day of racing as the overall leader.”
Following Cho in overall standings are Jayner and Malone, in second and third, respectively. Dudek sits second overall for the ladies, followed by Scott in third going into tomorrow’s races.
The 2012 U.S. Short Track Championships conclude tomorrow with the 1000m, 3000m and Relays. Following competition, U.S. Speedskating will crown the overall 2012 U.S. National Champions, and announce the rosters for the 2012 Winter World Cup and 2012 World Championship teams. Racing begins at 10am (MST). Fans can log on and watch a live webcast of the Championships at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/USSTCHAMPS2012. Extended results from today’s races are available here:https://webpoint.usspeedskating.org/files/Event_PDFs/1919_Event_OtherDoc4.pdf