Lehman ties Olympic 5000m personal best placement, Cepuran scores first Olympic experience

by Brennan Smith

A duo of Team USA skaters kicked off their Olympic races in the Men’s 5000m event Sunday at the National Speed Skating Oval in Beijing.  

Emery Lehman tied his Olympic personal best placement finish in the Men's 5000m with a 16th place time of 6:21.80 and Ethan Cepuran finished 17th in his first-ever Olympic race with a time of 6:25.97. 

Sweden’s Nils van der Poel won the Gold Medal with a new Olympic Record time of 6:08.84, the Netherlands’ Patrick Roest won Silver with a time of 6:09.31 and Norway’s Hallgeir Engebraaten won Bronze with a time of 6:09.88.  

Lehman, a three-time Olympian, previously finished 21st in the Men’s 5000m event in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games and 16th in the event at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games. Cepuran won the Men’s 5000m event at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Milwaukee in January to secure his first trip to the Olympics.  

Lehman said it was good to get the first race of these Olympics under his belt with events of increasing importance left on the schedule.  

From here, just go out and skate a good 1500 and then from there, as long as each race keeps getting better leading into that final round of the team pursuit, I think I will be a happy camper,” Lehman said.  

Cepuran said his goal was to keep his skating consistent and even in his first Olympic race.  

I’ve just got to keep learning how to skate here, building confidence in my own skating and finding my own position,” Cepuran said. “Shifting focus to the team pursuit now and everything I can do for that.”  

US Speedskating long track action continues Monday in Beijing with the Women’s 1500m event at 4:30 pm local time and 1:30 am MST/3:30 am EST Sunday featuring Brittany Bowe and Mia Manganello Kilburg.  

Tune in to NBC and Peacock to catch all of the US Speedskating action throughout the Olympics.