MILWAUKEE (AP)Brittany Bowe won the women’s 1,500 meters and Joey Mantia took the men’s event in track-record time at the U.S. speedskating trials Saturday, putting the veterans on their third Olympic team.
Bowe finished in 1 minute, 50.32 seconds to claim her third individual event for Beijing at the Pettit National Ice Center, where fans were banned because of surging COVID-19 cases.
Mantia won in 1:44.01, lowering Chad Hedrick’s track record of 1:44.47. Emery Lehman took second in 1:45.10 to qualify for his third Olympics.
Mantia was subdued after setting the first track record of his career at age 35.
”I’m just tired. The 15 takes a lot out of me at this age,” he said. ”Any time you set a track record, it’s a nice solidification and builds a lot of confidence that you’re doing the right thing.”
Mantia earlier finished second in the 1,000.
Bowe’s excitement was dimmed by Erin Jackson’s failure to make the team in the 500 a day earlier. Jackson slipped during her race and finished third, behind winner Bowe and Kimi Goetz.
”Erin is one of my great friends, great teammates,” said Bowe, who also won the 1,000. ”I’d be lying if I said that hadn’t taken a bit of an emotional toll on me.”
It also affected Goetz, who finished third in the 1,500. She was second to Bowe in the 1,000 and has earned her first Olympic berth.
”Yesterday was a little stressful and emotional, and I let that carry into today,” Goetz said. ”No excuse. I’m disappointed to not finish top-two.”
Mia Manganello Kilburg finished second in the 1,500 in 1:54.85 and will be making her second Olympic appearance next month. She also won the 3,000, but the U.S. doesn’t yet have a guaranteed spot in that event.
Jackson returned a day after her slip and was sixth in the 1,500 in 2:02.45. Her specialty is the 500, where in November she became the first Black woman to win a World Cup event. She dominated the event during the World Cup circuit, winning four of eight races, with a second and a third.
Now, she would need either the 35-year-old Bowe or 27-year-old Goetz to decline their spot in the 500 to make her second Olympics.
”My heart is breaking for her,” Bowe said. ”Hopefully, internally, we can figure out how to get her to the Olympics.”
Neither Bowe nor Goetz answered directly when asked if they would give up their spot for Jackson.
”The three of us are going to have to sit down and talk about and see what the best plan is going forward,” Goetz said.
Jackson hasn’t been made available to speak remotely with media, which was banned from the trials because of COVID-19.
The five-day trials end Sunday with the men’s and women’s mass start. Skaters for the team pursuit events in Beijing will be decided by the U.S. coaches.
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