Dawson, Cepuran and Lehman Team Up For Another World Cup Gold Medal In Calgary
by Paul D. Bowker
Olympic Bronze medalists Casey Dawson, Ethan Cepuran and Emery Lehman are turning into an unbeatable combination.
After finishing third in the Men’s Team Pursuit at the Olympic Games last winter in Beijing, they’ve won both World Cup Team Pursuit races so far this season.
Friday in Calgary, Alberta, the trio of Dawson, Cepuran and Lehman knocked off the host country for a victory, winning with a time of 3 minutes, 35.92 seconds and defeating Canada by more than half a second. The Americans trimmed more than eight seconds off their season-opening winning time last month in Stavanger, Norway.
“One of the things that makes us so good as a team is that we all want to win,” said Cepuran, who made his Olympic debut in 2022 and is a Chicago-area native who skated with Lehman when they were kids. “Individually we’re not quite there yet, so we really look at the Team Pursuit as an opportunity to possibly become World Champions and to be something better than ourselves individually.”
The trio wasn’t alone in their successes in Calgary this past weekend. The U.S. Women’s Pursuit Team won a Bronze medal, and Olympians Kimi Goetz and Mia Manganello Kilburg each won individual Silver medals.
Goetz won her first career World Cup Silver medal in the Women’s 1000m, finishing second behind Jutta Leerdam of the Netherlands with a time of 1:13.53. The altitude in Calgary’s mountains may have helped, she said.
“I like skating at altitude, more comfortable with it since I train in Salt Lake City,” she said. “So I was hopeful this weekend, but everyone seems to show up on race day so I’m just glad that I was able to get on the podium.”
Manganello Kilburg, a two-time Olympian, finished second in the Women’s Mass Start with a time of 8:33.79, trailing winner Irene Schouten of the Netherlands by .09 seconds.
Manganello Kilburg and Bowe combined with 2022 Olympian Giorgia Birkeland to win a Bronze medal in the Women’s Team Pursuit. They finished third with a time of 2:57.95, finishing 3.46 seconds behind winner Canada and just .28 seconds behind runner-up Japan.
Olympic Champion Erin Jackson posted a season-best sixth-place finish in Friday’s Women’s 500m, finishing with a time of 37.45 seconds. Goetz finished 11th in the 500m and was eighth in the 1500m.
Jordan Stoltz, a 2022 Olympian who became the youngest man to win a World Cup race in the season-opener last month in Stavanger, nearly made another podium in the 1000m. He finished fourth with a time of 1:07.34, missing a podium spot by .02 seconds and a win by just .06 seconds. He also posted a seventh-place finish in the 500m and 11th-place finish in the 1500m.
One day after winning a Gold medal in Men’s Team Pursuit, Cepuran finished eighth in the 5000m. It was his top individual finish of the season and of his career.
The World Cup tour stays in Calgary for another round of competition Dec. 16-18.