USA Masters at Sprint Games in Baselga di Pinè

Dan Carney, Andrew Love and Joanna Walters traveled to Baselga Di Pine to take on 135 of the world's fastest master sprinters at the 15th IMSSC Master Sprint Games. Athletes attended from from The Netherlands, Japan, Mongolia, Canada, Norway, Germany, Poland, Australia, Estonia, Argentina, Finland, Switzerland, and Italy.

The USA masters team did very well, with Dan Carney and Joanna Walters winning their respective categories handily.  

Carney clocked the fastest 100m opener of the meet, a 10.84. His DASH training team speed was more than enough to win the large M55 group. 

Carney said “Outdoor skating creates unique challenges. Tricky track conditions combined with the pressure of completing 4 distances towards an overall makes for intense racing.  The 55 age class is loaded with great skaters and many previous champions. It’s a pleasure to meet and complete with these athletes from all over the globe. “

This was Carney’s second consecutive Championship in the very large & competitive M55 group. He is the host of the “Speedskating Video Podcast”
Joanna Walters in the women’s 75 category was a solo entrant. Walters has been racing on speed skates since the 1952 season (she was 5).  Reflecting how she and the sport has changed-   “as the years have gone on, I have learned to compete truly for the joy of competing.  I often have other women tell me how important it is for them to see me skating and racing. It is hard work to keep skating, sometimes it feels like you are treading water. It’s a challenge to not get worse, time wise, as you age. But it is well worth it. 

I still love the fact that it is a stretch to line up and challenge yourself, the worry that you will crash or complete the race.  I can say the nerves never go away no matter what you do!” 

During the awards banquet, Carney gave a brief speech challenging this unique group of top masters sprinters to come race the 16th edition of the Masters Sprint games scheduled for Milwaukee in February of 2025.  

4-time masters World Sprint Champ Andrew Love won the first 500m in his age group by a solid margin, and then experienced a clap mechanism failure near the finish of his day 2 1000m sending him siding down the backstretch with 200m to go.  “It would be easier to stomach this if I had made a technical error or stumble myself, but to train all year and then have an equipment issue during a scorching fast race?-  well that is sports.  These experiences make us better people in the end.”