HEERENVEEN, Netherlands (March 3, 2012) – Team USA continued a strong performance in Heerenveen this weekend with another double podium win.
Current 500m World Cup leader Tucker Fredricks (Janesville, WI) skated to a gold medal in today’s 500m with a time of 35.05. Michel Mulder (NED) was second (35.12) and Joji Kato took third (35.16). Mitch Whitmore (Waukesha,WI) placed 10th on the 500m B race with a time of 36.40.
"I'm very happy to bounce back from yesterday," said Fredricks. "I've been working hard through these last 6 weeks to overcome this injury, while staying as positive as possible through this process. It hasn't been easy but I'm keeping a good perspective on the big picture."
"I expected him to be better today after getting the first race in his legs, but he showed today just how determined he really is to be better then he's ever been. It wasn't a perfect race by any means so there's still room for improvement over the next few weeks, " said US Speedskating Sprint Head Coach Ryan Shimabukuro.
Heather Richardson (High Point, NC) won her second bronze medal of the weekend in the 500m distance with a 38.28, finishing .35 seconds back from Germany’s Jenny Wolf at 37.93 and Jing Yu (CHN) at 38.01. Brittany Bowe (Ocala, FL) finished 18th with a time of 39.17. Lauren Cholewinski (York, S.C.) finished 5th in the 500m B race with a time of 39.89, and Kelly Gunther (Clinton Township, MI) took 10th posting 40.23.
"I was able to put out another good 500m today, and the 1500 was a good prep for the 1000m tomorrow. I'm very happy with both races," said Richardson.
"It was probably the best 500m I've seen Heather execute to date, and we just used the 1500m today to do more speed endurance preparation for the upcoming 1000m races tomorrow and weeks to come," added Shimabukuro.
Richardson took 6th in today’s 1500m with a time of 1:58.86, 2.85 seconds back from today’s winner, Ireen Wust (NED) with a time of 1:56.01. The Dutch team swept the podium with Marrit Leenstra taking 2nd (1:57.35) and Diane Valkenburg in 3rd (1:58.05). Bowe placed 15th with a time of 2:00.95. Jilleanne Rookard (Woodhaven, MI) took 2nd in today’s 1500m B race with a time of 2:02.27.
Jonathan Kuck (Champaign,Ill.) skated today’s 10000m, finishing 10th (13:25.28), 26.81 seconds back from distance winner Bob de Jong (NED) posting 12:58.47. Jorrit Bergsma (NED) won silver (12:59.34), and Havard Bokko (NOR) won bronze with a time of 13:11.95. Patrick Meek (St. Louis, MO) finished 6th (13:40.48) in today’s 10000m B race.
Racing continues tomorrow in Heerenveen with the ladies and men’s 1000m and Mass Start events. Races will be webcast live at 6am (MST) at http://livemanager.eurovision.edgesuite.net/isu/site/index.html. Extended results from today’s races are available at http://live.isuresults.eu/2011-2012/heerenveen-2/