Erin Jackson, Jordan Stolz Go Gold in Big World Cup Weekend for Americans
by Paul D. Bowker
The travel road has been long this Fall World Cup season, but that didn’t stop U.S. skaters from collecting three Gold medals and seven total medals this past weekend at Long Track World Cup 4 in Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Poland.
A parade of medals piled up:
Erin Jackson, the reigning Olympic Gold medalist, won the Women’s 500m for the third time this season.
Jordan Stolz, a 2022 Olympian, captured a Gold medal in the Men’s 1000m and won a Silver medal in the 1500m.
And Mia Manganello Kilburg, a two-time Olympian, won a Bronze medal in the Women’s Mass Start as she reached the podium in her signature event for the third time this season.
American skaters have won 28 medals in four Long Track World Cup stops so far this season.
After finishing fourth in the first Women’s 500m of the weekend on Friday, Jackson answered with a victory one day later in 37.80 seconds. She defeated South Korea’s Min-Sun Kim by 0.16 seconds. The win came at the same venue where Jackson won her first World Cup Gold in 2021.
“Yesterday I lost focus a little bit and today I was trying to get my head back into the game,” Jackson said. “I like the feel of the track and the ice. I don’t mind slow ice. My race is so short. Maybe if I was in a 1500m, it would be different.”
Stolz, the reigning World Champion at three distances, won a Gold medal in the 1000m for the first time this season. He won in 1:08.64 at the Arena Lodowa, defeating runner-up Ryota Kojima of Japan by more than a second.
“I was happy to be back in the A group for the 1000m, because last weekend in Stavanger I had a time that would have put me in first. The ice here is a lot more grippy, there’s a lot more pressure,” said Stolz, who set a track record in his win in the 1500m last week in Stavanger, Norway. “In Stavanger, it feels like you can flow a bit more. I always feel more comfortable in Stavanger. I just feel like I can finesse it better. Here, it feels like you always have to keep pushing. But I’m happy I had a good time this weekend also.”
Stolz finished second in the 1500m with a time of 1:46.48, just .07 seconds behind Norway’s Peder Kongshaug.
“There’s many variables and things can happen, so it’s not just set that one person is going to win every time,” Stolz said. “I never take it for granted.”
Stolz nearly won a third medal in the 500m, settling for fourth place in the first race. Stolz has won two Gold medals, two Silver medals and two Bronze medals this season.
“I hope to keep competing well and getting stronger in the 2nd half of the World Cup season as well.” Stolz said.
A victory in the Team Pursuit by Cepuran, Dawson and Lehman set up a showdown for the World Cup title in January at the Utah Olympic Oval. The U.S. is tied with Italy and Norway for the top spot.
Cepuran calls it a “Piston Cup,” made popular in the animated movie, “Cars.”
“There’s a Piston Cup (in Cars), it’s a three-way tie,” Cepuran said. “I grew up watching that movie and we were already joking that it’s going to be a Piston Cup in Salt Lake City.”
The U.S. won the race in 3:44.85, earning its second medal of the season. Lehman, Cepuran and Conor McDermott-Mostowy combined to win a Bronze medal in the season opener.
Bowe won her first World Cup medal of the season with a second-place finish in the Women’s 1000m in a time of 1:16.20. She also finished fifth in the 1500m.
Goetz, who has medaled at every World Cup stop, was just .05 seconds behind Bowe in the 1000m. Goetz also had a pair of fifth-place finishes in the 500m.
Manganello Kilburg’s Bronze medal in the Mass Start put her on the top of Overall rankings.
“This week was a much faster paced race.” Manganello Kilburg said. “I tend to take a few different strategies into a race because you never know what to expect. There was a good amount of action throughout the whole race but luckily, I was able to just sit in and wait for the sprint. The most exciting part is that I jumped up to the overall lead so now I get to wear the gold helmet cover for the first time on my home rink! I might cry going to the line.”
The World Cup tour resumes back at the Utah Olympic Oval in the new year, Jan. 26-28 in Kearns, Utah.
Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic and Paralympic 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.