KEARNS, Utah (AP) — Joey Mantia won the 1,000 meters and the mass start race Sunday on the final day of the U.S. Speed Skating Championships, and Heather Bergsma swept the women’s events.
For the second consecutive day, Mantia posted the world’s fastest time this season, finishing the 1,000 in 1 minute, 7.52 seconds. He also posted the top time in the 1,500 on Saturday.
His 1,000 time was 0.05 seconds better than Vincent De Haitre’s winning time at the Canadian Single Distances Championships in Calgary, Alberta, on Thursday. Mantina finished 0.31 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Shani Davis.
Bergsma built on her wins in the women’s 500 races on Friday by taking the 1,000 and mass start race.
Bergsma had the world’s fastest 1,000 time this season, finishing in 1:14.13. Jerica Tandiman was second in 1:16.62. Then, Bergsma followed up with by taking the mass start with a total time of 9:18.970. Mia Mangenello was second in 9:20.460.
Mantia looks at his speedy times mostly as a personal measuring stick to push himself in future races. Beyond bragging rights, they have little bearing on how the World Cup season will play out.
“There’s no award at the end of the year for fastest time or anything,” Mantia said. “You got to work and try to win. It’s kind of funny to say even though it is a time trial based sport. But every ice surface is different. You don’t know until racing the guys that are there that day.”
He didn’t miss a beat in the 16-lap mass start race, overtaking K.C. Boutiette on the final lap to edge him for first place. Mantia finished with a total time of 8:43.496 after entering the race as the overall points leader. Boutiette was second in 8:43.596.
Mantia put in a ton of miles on the bike over the summer to boost his endurance. It helped build a strong base that allowed him to recover quickly between races and move from the 1,500 to the 1,000 to the mass start without losing a ton of stamina.
“The training program that I’m on right now is pretty aggressive,” Mantia said. “It allows for me to be able to put together a pretty good effort and then within an hour or two hours be able to do it again, which is kind of rare on the ice. Long track is all about time trials. You do one effort and you’re done. At the most, you do two short races and you’re done.”
The altitude wreaked havoc on Bergsma as her second race progressed. She could feel it in her lungs while pushing to stay a step ahead of Mangenello over the final few laps.
“I just have to stick to what my strategy is in the mass start,” Bergsma said. “I’m a sprinter, so I can’t do so much work. I try to save (energy) and just sprint that last lap.”
John-Henry Kruger won the men’s 1,000 short-track final, finishing in 1:25.725. Casey Mullarkey claimed a win in the men’s 3,000 short-track race with a time of 4:59.508. J.R. Celski placed second in both races.
Jessica Kooreman finished first in the women’s 1,000 short-track final in 1:36.587. Katherine Reutter won the women’s 3,000 short-track race, finishing in 5:43.275. Kooreman is the women’s overall points leader with 1,600 points. Celski tops the men with 1,600 points.