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Short track speedskaters race in SLC prior to next winter’s Olympic Games

KEARNS, Utah. — U.S. Speedskating, the national Governing body (NGB) of the sport, wrapped up its season at the Utah Olympic Oval in Salt Lake City this weekend, the final competitions for many athletes as the sport prepares for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games. One of a few NGBs in Northern Utah, U.S. Speedskating hosted the National Championships for Short Track on Friday and Saturday. Long track speedskating is based out of the same world class facility.

Caitlin Moyer wrote, on the Team USA website, that the competition opened with Men’s and Women’s 1500m and 500m events on Friday and concluded with the Men’s and Women’s 1000m race on Saturday. The Championships were highlighted by junior skater Brandon Kim (Fairfax, VA) and Olympian Maame Biney (Reston, VA) coming in first in each of their respective events.

“I’m glad the races played out so well this weekend,” Kim said. “It’s been a tough year with most of the national and international competitions being cancelled, but I’m thankful we were still able to train. I’m looking forward to the upcoming Olympic season.”

In the Men’s 1500m, Kim earned both US Champion and US Junior Champion titles with a time of (2.19,837). He was followed by Adam Callister (Salt Lake City, UT) (2.20,194) and junior skater Wesley Park (Irvine, CA) (2.21,151). Kim later claimed two more titles in the Men’s 500m with a time of (41,577), followed by junior skater Ray Shim (Maple Valley, WA.) who set a new personal best with a time of (42,099) and Clayton DeClemente (Poughkeepsie, NY) (42,184).

On the Women’s side, Biney earned the title of Women’s 1500m US Champion with a time of  (02.28,082). She was followed by Julie Letai (Medfield, MA) (2.29,896) and junior skater Jenell Berhorst (Auburn, WA) (2.29,998). In the Women’s 500m, Biney earned her second title with a time of (43,404) and was followed up again by Letai and junior skater Hailey Choi (Oakton, VA). Letai and Choi each set new personal bests in the event with times of (44,010) and (44,208), respectively.

The event wrapped up on Saturday with the Men and Women’s 1000m races, where Kim once again secured the titles of US Champion and US Junior Champion with a time of (1.26,884) followed by DeClemente (1.27,262) and Callister (1.27,232). Biney locked up her third title with a time of (1.30,988) followed by Choi (1.31,989) and Letai (1.32,352) in the Women’s race. 

The Women’s Overall US Champion is Maame Biney followed by Julie Letai and Hailey Choi. The Men’s Overall US Champion is Brandon Kim followed by Clayton DeClemente Adam Callister, wrote Moyer.

The Utah Olympic Oval played host to the Salt Lake 2002 Short Track and Long Track Speedskating events and is one of the three thriving venues within the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation serving elite, developing and recreational athletes throughout Northern Utah. 

The Park City Speed Skating Club, as it partners with the Youth Sports Alliance, gives starts to many local up-and-comers of the sport. 

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