J.R. Celski, Jessica Smith take early leads at U.S. Olympic Trials

Jessica Smith
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J.R. Celski took the first strides to what he hopes is his second Olympic team on Thursday. Jessica Smith began her quest toward her first Games.

Celski and Smith swept the four- and nine-lap time trials at the U.S. Olympic Short Track Speed Skating Trials. That put both in the lead to secure Olympic berths in all three short track distances — 500m, 1000m and 1500m.

Celski, a two-time 2010 Olympic bronze medalist, won his events in 36.269 seconds and 1:21.67, respectively. The top five men were the same in both time trials — Celski, followed in order by potential first-time Olympians Chris CrevelingEddy Alvarez and John-Henry Krueger and 2010 Olympian Jordan Malone.

Smith, an alternate for the 2010 Olympic team, won the women’s races in 39.317 and 1:28.11. The top three women were the same in both time trials — Smith, followed by potential first-time Olympian Emily Scott and 2010 Olympian Alyson Dudek.

The U.S. Olympic Trials continue with men’s and women’s 1500m races Friday at the Utah Olympic Oval (5:30 p.m. ET, 8-10 p.m. NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra).

Short track trials schedule, preview

The U.S. Olympic Team of up to five men and three women will be decided by standings systems combining the time trial results from Thursday with two 500m races, two 1000m races and two 1500m races. Skaters earn points based on their placements in time trials and races.

There will be three different standings for each distance plus an overall standing combing all distances. Each race has double the points of one time trial, which makes the time trial worth 20 percent overall. The four-lap time trial corresponds to the 500m, while the nine-lap time trial corresponds to the 1000m and 1500m.

Only the top points scorer over each distance is guaranteed to make the Olympic team.

Here are the individual distance standings after the time trials:

Men’s 500m
1. J.R. Celski — 500
2. Chris Creveling — 400
3. Eddy Alvarez — 320
4. John-Henry Krueger — 256
5. Jordan Malone — 205

Men’s 1000m
1. J.R. Celski — 500
2. Chris Creveling — 400
3. Eddy Alvarez — 320
4. John-Henry Krueger — 256
5. Jordan Malone — 205

Men’s 1500m
1. J.R. Celski — 500
2. Chris Creveling — 400
3. Eddy Alvarez — 320
4. John-Henry Krueger — 256
5. Jordan Malone — 205

Women’s 500m
1. Jessica Smith — 500
2. Emily Scott — 400
3. Alyson Dudek — 320
4. Sarah Chen — 256
5. Katherine Ralston — 205

Women’s 1000m
1. Jessica Smith — 500
2. Emily Scott — 400
3. Alyson Dudek — 320
4. Kimberly Goetz — 256
5. Sarah Chen — 205

Women’s 1500m
1. Jessica Smith — 500
2. Emily Scott — 400
3. Alyson Dudek — 320
4. Kimberly Goetz — 256
5. Sarah Chen — 205

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