U.S. Short Track Women Score Bronze Medal In Relay At Winter World University Games
by Paul D. Bowker
Corinne Stoddard, who made her Olympic debut a year ago in Beijing, delivered an impressive performance in her debut at the FISU Winter World University Games in Lake Placid, New York.
Stoddard, a Salt Lake Community College student, joined four short track teammates to win a Bronze medal in the Women’s 3000m Relay and nearly reached the podium in a pair of individual events. She finished fourth in the 1500m and fifth in the 1000m, adding to a strong season that has included her first World Cup individual medal in December.
Julie Letai, Isabella Main, Una Willhoite and Libby Williams teamed up with Stoddard to capture the lone U.S. medal in Lake Placid, finishing the relay with a time of 4 minutes, 24.015 seconds for third place in Saturday’s final, the penultimate day of the Games.
Brandon Kim also finished among the top five in two individual events in short track, placing fourth in the Men’s 500m and fifth in the 1500m.
Among the long trackers, William Gebauer and Anna Quinn combined to post a fifth-place finish in the Mixed Gender Relay. Individually, Thomas Fitzgerald had seventh-place finishes in the Men’s 5000m and Mass Start.
Sixteen U.S. long track and short track speed skaters competed in Lake Placid with the long track competition taking place outdoors at the Speed Skating Oval, the venue where U.S. speed skater Eric Heiden won five Olympic gold medals at the 1980 Olympic Winter Games. The short track competition was held indoors on the 1932 Olympic rink.
Stoddard, who was skating in Lake Placid for the first time, began her competition Thursday with a fourth-place finish in the Women’s 1500m. She had a time of 2:40.940, missing a podium finish by just 0.410 seconds. Two days later, Stoddard placed fifth in the 1000m with a time of 1:38.452 and won a Bronze medal in the Women’s Relay.
Julie Letai, a 2022 Olympian, made the B Final in both the Women’s 1000m and 1500m. She won the 1000m with a time of 1:37.609 and was runner-up in the 1500m B Final with a time of 2:40.274.
Kim, who is the highest-ranked U.S. man in the World Cup overall standings, had top-five finishes on consecutive days. He placed fifth in the 1500m on Thursday, finishing in 2:18.591, then was fourth in the 500m Friday with a time of 43.199 seconds.
Alec Sklutovsky made the B Final in the 500m and finished fourth with a time of 1:05.299.
On the long track side, Gebauer, who had skated in the FISU test event last year in Lake Placid, teamed up with Quinn for a fifth-place time of 3:13.55 in the Mixed Gender Relay, and also posted 12th-place finishes in the Men’s 500m and 1000m with times of 36.92 seconds and 1:14.31, respectively.
Fitzgerald clocked 7:07.87 in the Men’s 5000m for a seventh-place finish, then equaled that placing in the Mass Start on Friday.
Quinn teamed up with Ilsa Shobe and Thalia Staehle for a sixth-place finish in Women’s Team Pursuit. Staehle also captured a ninth-place finish in the Women’s 3000m with a time of 4:42.68, and was 20th in both the 1500m and Mass Start. Quinn was 14th in the Women’s 500m.
Staehle and Williams are slated to compete in the ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships, Feb. 10-12, in Inzell, Germany. Kwon is on the U.S. team for the ISU World Junior Short Track Championships, Jan. 27-29, in Dresden, Germany.