The 2022 U.S. Speed Skating Olympic Trials have belonged to Brittany Bowe. The 33-year-old from Ocala, Florida won the women’s 1500m Saturday to complete a sweep of the 500m, 1000m and 1500m distances at Trials.
As it stands, she projects to be very busy at the Winter Olympics next month.
Bowe, the No. 2-ranked female 1500m skater in the world, crossed the line in 1:55.81 to lock up her third spot Olympic Team.
“I’m happy to get a spot in the Olympics for that [event], but I can’t say I’m overly pleased with that race,” Bowe said afterward. “I would have liked to have seen that race be a couple seconds faster.”
Bowe is set to compete at her third Winter Olympics and will be among the favorites in the 1000m and 1500m events, and is an outside medal threat in the 500m. She previously won a bronze medal in the team pursuit event at the 2018 PyeongChang Games.
Behind Bowe, the race for the second Olympic spot came down to two women already well-positioned to make the U.S. team. Mia Manganello Kilburg, who won the women’s 3000m event on Wednesday, edged out 500m and 1000m runner-up Kimi Goetz by .77 to take second place.
As a result of Bowe, Manganello Kilburg and Goetz all securing multiple provisional Olympic spots, the U.S. is set to enter a full slate of women’s speed skating events without maxing out its limit for number of athletes.
Ahead of the men’s 1500m, world No. 1 Joey Mantia confessed to some nerves about skating at Trials without any rest from his Olympics-oriented training plan. It was a risk he and his coach committed to in order to peak during February’s Winter Olympics.
“I truly believe that if you’re awesome right now, you’re not going to be at the Games,” Mantia said before his race.
As it turned out, Mantia at less than his best can still produce record-setting times. He skated a Pettit National Ice Center track record of 1:44.01 to win the event and confirm his place on a third career Olympic Team.
Mantia, 35, is also a favorite to make the team in the mass start and team pursuit events. He will be gold medal contender in all three disciplines at next month’s Winter Games.
Emery Lehman, another two-time Olympian, finished second behind Mantia in 1:45.10 to lock up a place at his third Games. Lehman is a fixture on the U.S. team pursuit squad and is expected to participate in that event as well.