Auggie Herman, Blair Cruikshank Score Multiple Wins in AmCup2
by Paul D. Bowker
Auggie Herman won four races and Blair Cruikshank won three races in the AmCup 2 held this past weekend in Roseville, Minnesota.
The three-day competition, which was held Dec. 8-10, also included the John Rose Open and featured more than 50 long track speed skaters.
“It’s the AmCup circuit, you get three of them per year. After the last AmCup, you kind of fix your focus on the next one… [you] just keep moving throughout the season on working towards the next big competition,” said Zachary Johnson, a competitor who began speedskating four years ago.
Herman reached the podium in all five men’s races, posting a pair of wins in the 500m and single wins in the 1000m and 1500m. He finished runner-up to Thomas Fitzgerald in the 5000m.
Cruikshank, a daughter of five-time Olympic Gold medalist Bonnie Blair Cruikshank, won all three races she entered: both Women’s 500m races, and the 1000m.
Herman’s winning times in the 500m were 37.31 and 39.35 seconds. He recorded times of 1:15.42 in winning the 1000m and 2:03.96 in the 1500m.
Cruikshank won the Women’s 500m in times of 40.09 and 42.81 seconds, and the 1000m in 1:25.48.
Piper Yde joined Herman as the only skater to reach the podium in five races. She won the Women’s 3000m with a time of 4:40.69, finished second in both 500m races, and finished third in the 1000m and 1500m.
Marley Soldan was the other winner in the women’s races, capturing first place in the 1500m with a time of 2:27.37. She finished second in the 3000m.
In addition to winning the 5000m with a time of 6:57.38, Fitzgerald finished second in the 1000m and 1500m, and third in one of the 500m races.
Also reaching the podium four times in the men’s competition was Max Weber, who finished second in one of the 500m races and third in the other, while also taking third in the 1000m and 1500m. Max will also be competing in the upcoming 2024 Youth Olympic Games.
Libby Williams posted second-place finishes in the Women’s 1000m and 1500m, and was third in both 500m races.
Other podium finishers were Ella Teeples, who finished third in the Women’s 3000m; Matthew Salm, who posted a second-place finish in the Men’s 500m; and Samuel Hart-Gorman, who placed third in the Men’s 5000m.
Valery Molinares won the Women’s 500m in the John Rose Open with a personal-best time of 50.03 seconds. John Neis won the Men’s 500m with a personal-best time of 45.83 seconds.
The AmCup racing series is a great event for skaters looking to sharpen their racing skills and dial in their execution.
Paired with this event was the John Rose Open. This race was open to skaters of all ages and abilities. On Friday they had single distance events, followed by pack racing on Saturday and Sunday.
“At first I was really nervous, but then I was like, I love this place!” said Ezra Mangum age 10 to ABC Channel 5.
The final AmCup will be held in Salt Lake City, UT from March 8-10, 2024.
Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is a freelance contributor to USSpeedskating.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.