Joey Mantia, Heather Bergsma to lead U.S. Olympic speed skating team

Joey Mantia

The U.S. Olympic Speed Skating Trials wrapped up today with the last two races, the men’s and women’s mass starts.

No new members were added to the team based on the final mass start results, which included points earned in two mass start races at the fall World Cup qualifying competition.

Joey Mantia and Brian Hansen earned the U.S.’ two Olympic berths in the men’s mass start, while Heather Bergsma and Mia Manganello claimed the U.S.’ two spots in the women’s mass start.

Mantia, who will turn 32 two days before the PyeongChang Opening Ceremony, is heading to his second Olympics as a a medal contender in three races: the 1000m, 1500m and mass start. The former inline skater is the reigning world champion in the mass start, a new event making its Olympic debut in 2018.

In the mass start, skaters race against each other in a pack, instead of in pairs against the clock. The race is 16 laps.

Maria Lamb was the winner of the women’s mass start by nearly 15 seconds, but she didn’t earn enough points in the previous mass start races to overtake Bergsma and Manganello in the overall standings.

Bergsma will be the busiest U.S. speed skater next month: she qualified for the 500m, 1000m and 1500m, as well as the mass start.

The 12 members of the U.S. Olympic speed skating team, and the distances they qualified to race:

Joey Mantia: 1000m, 1500m, mass start
Shani Davis: 1000m, 1500m
Mitch Whitmore: 500m, 1000m
Jonathan Garcia: 500m
Kimani Griffin: 500m
Brian Hansen: 1500m, mass start
Carlijn Schoutens: 3000m, 5000m
Heather Bergsma: 500m, 1000m, 1500m, mass start
Brittany Bowe: 500m, 1000m, 1500m
Erin Jackson: 500m
Mia Manganello: 1500m, mass start
Jerica Tandiman: 1000m

U.S. Speed Skating might choose to add another male skater to the Olympic team as a team pursuit specialist. The U.S. women didn’t qualify an Olympic berth in the team pursuit event, so no more female skaters will be added to the Olympic speed skating teams.

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