Kristen Santos-Griswold Nails A Career Weekend In Utah: 3 Bronze Medals
by Paul D. Bowker
The home ice of the Utah Olympic Oval delivered a career weekend for 2022 Olympian Kristen Santos-Griswold.
And it came on a weekend that featured Xandra Velzeboer and Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands setting World Records in the Women’s 500m and 1000m, respectively, during Friday’s qualifying rounds.
Santos-Griswold won three Bronze medals over two days at the second stop of the 2022-23 ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Cup in Kearns, Utah. Santos-Griswold won her first two medals Saturday in the Women’s 500m and Mixed 2000m Relay, then added a third Bronze medal Sunday in the Women’s 1000m.
It was the first time that Santos-Griswold won three medals at one World Cup event. After missing her first Olympic medal by just one spot last February in Beijing, Santos-Griswold has now won four Bronze medals in the first two weeks of the World Cup season, pushing her career total to 11.
Joining her for a podium finish in the Mixed Relay were 2022 Olympians Corinne Stoddard and Andrew Heo as well as Brandon Kim and Marcus Howard. For Heo, it was his first global medal since winning a Bronze in the Men’s 5000m relay at the Four Continents Championships three years ago. For Kim, it was his first World Cup medal.
U.S. skaters pushed up to second place at one point in the race after Schulting, of the Netherlands, crashed with six laps to go. The Americans held on for third place as China skated away with the victory ahead of South Korea.
Santos-Griswold won both her quarterfinal and semifinal heats in Saturday’s 500m, then finished third in the final behind Canada’s Kim Boutin and Poland’s Natalia Maliszewska. Santos-Griswold finished with a time of 43.170 seconds, less than one second behind Boutin.
Just behind Santos-Griswold was Stoddard, who finished fourth with a time of 43.243 seconds.
Santos-Griswold won her third medal of the weekend in Sunday’s 1000m despite crashing into the wall in the final lap. Hanne Desmet of Belgium locked the rear of Santos-Griswold’s skates, sending her hard into the boards. Desmet was penalized and knocked out of the race. Santos-Griswold was credited with a time of 1:32.965.
Including a Bronze medal won in the Women’s 1500m last week in Montreal, Santos-Griswold has already medaled at all three individual distances this season.
Stoddard finished fourth in the B Final in the 1000m with a time of 1:31.613 after a second-place finish in the quarterfinals and a fourth-place finish in the semifinals.
A third-place finish by Kamryn Lute in the quarterfinals of the Women’s 1500m advanced her to the semifinals, but a fifth-place finish in the semis was not fast enough to qualify for a spot in the A or B Finals.
In addition to winning a medal in the Mixed Relay, Kim won the Men’s 500m B Final on Saturday. After a third-place finish in the quarterfinals and a fourth-place finish in the semifinals, Kim won the B Final with a time of 40.647 seconds, which was faster than the winning time in the A Final.
Clayton DeClemente nearly qualified for the semifinals in the Men’s 1000m but finished fourth in his quarterfinal heat with a time of 1:24.128. Kim also finished fourth in a quarterfinal heat.
DeClemente, Heo, Howard and Kim teamed up to finish third in both the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of the Men’s 5000m Relay to make the B Final. There, they finished fourth, behind the Netherlands, Japan and Great Britain, with a time of 6:54.500. Earlier in the weekend, Howard broke the Men’s Junior National Record in the 1500m which had previously stood for 20 years.
Eunice Lee, Julie Letai, Santos-Griswold and Stoddard had a time of 4:15.572 in the quarterfinals of the Women’s 3000m Relay but did not advance to the next round after falling and finishing third.
"I’m happy with the team’s performance this past weekend on home soil," commented Short Track Program Director Andrea Do-Duc. "We showed that we’re skating to win and that we have what it takes to get on the podium in both individual and relay events. Our team is young, and I’m excited for them to gain more racing experience in the upcoming competitions."
The World Cup event started two weeks of global racing at the Utah Olympic Oval. The ISU Four Continents Championships are next, beginning Thursday for a three-day run.