William Gebauer, Blair Cruikshank Win Double Golds At American Cup
by Paul D. Bowker
William Gebauer and Blair Cruikshank each won two Gold medals in the second American Cup of the season, which was held Dec. 9-11 in Roseville, Minnesota.
Cruikshank, who is the daughter of five-time Olympic gold medalist Bonnie Blair Cruikshank, won both races she entered, the Women’s 500m and 1000m, while Gebauer took home the same titles on the men’s side. Meanwhile, Auggie Herman topped the overall medals chart with one Gold medal and three Silver medals in the men’s competition, reaching the podium in every event he entered.
The competition drew about 50 long track speed skaters to the Twin Cities suburb and provided skaters a chance to compete alongside national team members, including Gebauer.
It was also a qualifying event for the 2023 FISU Winter World University Games, an 11-day sports festival that will be held in January in Lake Placid, New York, home of the Olympic Winter Games in 1932 and 1980.
"It was fun to race under the lights," commented Cruikshank. "Saturday the weather and ice was a challenge for everyone but it was a good learning experience to skate on that kind of ice as I’ve never had to do that before.”
The competition, which was focused more on development and gaining experience, provided several highlights for up-and-coming U.S. skaters.
Cruikshank won the Women’s 500m in a time of 41.24 seconds with Anna Quinn behind her at 42.57 seconds. In the 1000m, Cruikshank won in 1 minute, 27.73 seconds with Quinn crossing the line in 1:28.73.
Quinn won the Women’s 1500m with a time of 2:16.27.
Gebauer, who set a Track Tecord and won a Gold medal in the Men’s 500m at the 2022 World University Games, won the 500m in Roseville in 37.65 seconds and the 1000m in 1:15.66.
Herman won his Gold medal in the 1500m with a time of 1:57.58, and won Silver medals in the 500m, 1000m and 5000m.
Thalia Staehle was the other women’s winner, taking the 3000m with a time of 4:52.58. She added a Bronze medal in the 1000m and was also fifth in the 500m. Following Staehle in the 3000m were Marley Soldan and Nastasja Radulovic.
Libby Williams had a pair of Bronze medals in the Women’s 500m and 1500m. Ilsa Shobe scored a Silver medal in the 1500m.
Thomas Fitzgerald won the Men’s 5000m in 7:36.86, defeating Herman by almost a full second, and also had a fourth-place finish in the 1500m and a fifth-place finish in the 1000m.
In the Men’s 3000m, Max Weber won the race with a time of 5:05.64, with Zachary Jensen and Alan Tsai joining him on the podium.
William Silk scored Bronze medals in the Men’s 1500m and 5000m, and nearly medaled in the 500m and 1000m, finishing fourth in both of those races. Matthew Salm won Bronze medals in the 500m and 1000m.
The final AmCup series event will take place in Salt Lake City, UT at the Utah Olympic Oval from March 10-12, 2023.