US Junior Championships at the Pettit National Ice Center
by US Speedskating
Top junior skaters from across the country came together to compete at the Pettit National Ice Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin this past weekend at the U.S. Junior Long Track Championships. The weekend was a huge success with 30 skaters competing and over 50 new personal best times! The performances were all the more impressive due to limited oval ice access for many skaters this season with COVID-19 restrictions in place.
The weekend started off with the men’s and women’s 500m and 1500m. Greta Myers (Minneapolis, MN.) took the top spot on the podium winning the women’s 500m with a new personal best time of (40,52). Behind Myers in 2nd place was Eliana Fuchs (Milwaukee, WI) with a new personal best time of (41,58). Piper Yde came in third (Milwaukee, WI), and also set a new personal best time of (41,97). The men's 500m saw Jordan Stolz (Milwaukee, WI.) capturing gold with a new personal best time of (35,45), which is the fastest 500m time in his age category, and 4th fastest time set by a Jr. this season. Stoltz was followed by Cooper McLeod (Seattle, Washington) in second, and Jonathan Tobon (Milwaukee, WI.) in third.
Myers took gold again in the women’s 1500m with another personal best time of (2:06,24). She was followed by Abigail Sorenson (Salt Lake City, UT) in second, with a new personal best of (2:06,54), and Thalia Staehle (Seattle, Washington) in third. In the men’s 1500m, Stoltz repeated his top spot on the podium this time with Tobon in 2nd and McLeod in 3rd.
Personal best performances continued to rain on Day 2. kicking off the day was Myers taking her third gold in the 1000m with a new personal best time of (1:21,43). Coming in second was Sorenson, followed closely by Lindsey Woodbury (Salt Lake City, UT). The men’s 1000m had a familiar look to the podium with Stoltz coming in first with a time of (1:09,98), followed by McLeod in second, and Tobon finishing in third with a time of (1:11,82).
The Jr. Championships wrapped up with the long distance races, the women’s 3000m and men’s 5000m. Completing her clean sweep, Myers took first in the 3000m by just (0,58) of a second ahead of Sorenson, with Staehle in 3rd. For the final race of the competition, Tobon took first place ahead of Stolz in the men’s 5000m with Dylan Woodbury (Salt Lake City, UT) finishing 3rd with a new personal best time of (6:58,87).
“Thanks to the Pettit Center staff who provided a safe environment and worked with USS to allow a limited number of parents in the building. Also a big thanks to Paul Golomski for fantastic ice conditions to support the juniors in breaking so many personal records,” said Marion Wohlrab, USS Events and Membership Director.
Due to the global pandemic, the 2021 ISU Jr. World Championships were cancelled. Following are the top five women and men overall rankings from Championships:
For full results, click here.
Nine out of the ten skaters above will be Juniors again next season and have a chance to represent TEAM USA at the 2022 ISU Long Track Jr. World Championships. Cooper Mcleod is the only athlete who will not be age eligible next season.
Here are Cooper’s thoughts on his last junior competition, “This past weekend was way different than any other Junior Nationals that there’s been since we all knew that there wouldn’t be an international competition after. However, overall it was a good experience for every junior to have a chance to compete with their peers and get more reps with high stakes. Obviously it is pretty disappointing that there are no Jr. World [Championships] this year since I’m an A2 and this would’ve been my first time, but personally I’ve worked with my coach to set other competitions as targets to perform well at so that not all the effort from the year is lost. I’m really looking forward to continuing to train and move on to the competitions at the senior level and specializing in certain distances that I wasn’t able to single out as a junior!”
With COVID related training restrictions, school challenges and protocols for entering a race, USS is proud of all the Junior athletes and congratulates them on a great weekend of racing and their perseverance and ability to overcome tremendous obstacles. Also a big shout out to the skaters parents for their continued support of speed skating dreams.