US Speedskating caps off strong weekend on home ice with a World Record in Mens Team Pursuit

by Brennan Smith

As the roars from United States fans echoed all around the Utah Olympic Oval Sunday afternoon on the final race of the final day, Team USA saved the best result for last.

Joey Mantia (Ocala, Fl.) led his teammates Emery Lehman (Oak Park, Ill.) and Casey Dawson (Park City, UT) from the opening bell to the finish line as US Speedskating surged to a World Record and a Gold Medal on home ice with a time of (3:34.473) in the Men’s Team Pursuit.

I did the easy job. I just get up front and lead the way and these guys are pushing me so hard that I can basically just move my feet, keep the rhythm and keep the speeds up,” Mantia said. “I think the magic behind our team being successful is that everybody thinks everybody else’s job is the hardest.

Mantia built on another strong performance Saturday when he earned a Gold Medal in the Men’s 1500m event with a personal best time of (1:41.154) – ascending from a Bronze in Poland to a Silver in Norway to the top of the podium at the Salt Lake City World Cup.

I feel great about it. It’s nice to put together a plan with the coach and be able to execute and have that plan pay off,” Mantia said. “The consistency makes the sport so much more enjoyable because time trialing is such a fickle, fickle thing. Sometimes you step on the ice and it’s just not there and luckily, I’ve been able to control that every time I’ve raced this year. It’s becoming more fun doing that.

Mantia highlighted another weekend of United States World Cup success – joining teammates
Erin Jackson (Ocala, Fl.) and Brittany Bowe (Ocala, Fl.) on the podium in front of an adoring home crowd.

Erin Jackson kicked off the competition with a bang Friday – setting a personal best and a new National Record to collect her fourth Women’s 500m Gold Medal of the World Cup season with a time of (36.809).
Kimi Goetz (Flemington, N.J.) scored US Speedskating a second top 10 finish with an 8th place time of (37.251).

The remainder of Friday’s action saw a handful of top-10 Division B finishes starting with the Men’s 500m event.
Austin Kleba (Campton Hills, Ill.) skated to a personal best and 9th place finish time of (34.569). Cooper McLeod (Burlington, Wash.) followed shortly after in 12th place with a personal best time of (34.662).

Mia Manganello-Kilburg (Crestview, Fla.) scored 6th place in the Division B Women’s 3000m with a time of (4:02.914) while Dessie Weigel (Boise, Ida.), 15th place, and Jamie Jurak (Newington, Conn), 23rd place, both skated to personal bests.

Rounding out Friday’s events, Dawson captured Bronze with a personal best time of (6:10.803) in the Division B Men’s 5000m to lead two other Team USA top 10 finishes from
Ethan Cepuran (Glen Ellyn, Ill.), 5th place, and Lehman, 6th place. Caleb Wakefield (Enumclaw, Wash.) finished 33rd with a personal best time of (6:32.273).

Mantia’s Gold Medal effort headlined Saturday’s races while Lehman posted a personal best in the same 1500m event with a time of (1:43.819), good for 16th place.

Bowe continued her Women’s 1000m success to capture Team USA’s second podium of the day – skating to a Bronze Medal with a time of (1:12.608). Goetz added another top 10 placement with an 8th place finish (1:12.992).

Jackson’s run in the sprint distance continued with a 6th place time of (37.029) in the second Women’s 500m race. Goetz found herself in the top 10 again with a 9th place time of (37.261).

Dawson capped off Saturday’s efforts with his second podium of the weekend – earning a Silver Medal in the Division B Men’s 1500m event with a personal best time of (1:43.493).

Sunday’s proceedings opened with another American success courtesy of
Jordan Stolz (Kewaskum, Wisc.)– who skated for a Junior World Record and personal best Gold Medal time of (34.318) in the Men’s Division B 500m race. Stoltz bookended his Sunday with another Junior World Record - this time in the Men’s Division B 1000m event - with a Bronze Medal effort and a personal best time of (1:07.033). 

Team USA earned two more top 10 finishes courtesy of Brittany Bowe in the Women’s 1500m event with an 8th place time of (1:52.320) and Mia Manganello-Kilburg with a 9th place finish time of (8:32.830) in the Women’s Mass Start.

The final B classification race of the weekend brought home two more Team USA top 10 finishes as Goetz crossed the finish line in 6th place for a new personal best time of (1:54.533) and Manganello-Kilburg finished 9th in the Women’s B Division 1500m. 

The Team Pursuit Gold Medal and World Record capped another successful World Cup weekend, setting the stage for an exciting World Cup finale in Calgary, Canada next weekend.

Long Track Head Coach Ryan Shimabukuro acknowledged that the team aims to make any ice track feel like home, but that this familiar environment gave an extra push to Mantia and the entire team.

Well, anytime you go to your home track, you have an advantage,” Shimabukuro said. “Just peripherally the comfort of the ice, the familiarity of the environment, you get to sleep in your own bed, you get to eat your own food and everything is more to your normal routine. That does have an advantage.

Complete results from the first World Cup in Salt Lake City can be found