Carlijn Schoutens

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Brittany Bowe leads U.S. women at World Single Distance Championships

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INZELL, Germany — The Team USA women skated in their first events on Friday, despite it being the second day of the World Single Distance Championships.

Brittany Bowe skated to a sixth place finish with a time of 37.77 in the 500m. She was paired in the race with Austrian Vanessa Herzog, who took home the gold in a track record time of 37.12 at the Max Aicher Arena.

“The ice was great, good start, ready for the 1000m tomorrow,” Bowe said through U.S. Speedskating.

Full results are here.

Her top two events, the 1000m and the 1500m, take place Saturday and Sunday at this four-day championship.

Erin Jackson finished 15th in the 500m.

Brittany Bowe with mother Debbie, sister Brooke and father Michael, outside the Max Aicher arena in Inzell, Germany.

“We had a couple of really good openers today, which tells me that the speed is there and the power is there,” said Tom Cushman, US Speedskating head coach. “Now we’re just going to settle in and prepare for the rest of the week.”

Team USA finished seventh in the ladies’ team pursuit. The team of Carlijn Schoutens, Mia Manganello-Kilburg and Kimi Goetz finished in a time of 3:06.00. This was the first time they had ever skated the team pursuit together.

Japan won the event in a time of 2:55.77.

“We worked pretty perfectly, especially going into the race with about a half-a-day advance notice,” Manganello-Kilburg said. “We have pretty similar technique already, we went in with a pretty relaxed mindset and skated a consistent, smooth race and went out there to have fun. We skated a really solid race.”

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Former Dutch speed skater wins U.S. Olympic Trials 3000m

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Carlijn Schoutens, who competed for the Netherlands until 2014, won the U.S. Olympic Trials 3000m to become the first speed skater to make the PyeongChang team.

Schoutens, born in the U.S. but raised in the Netherlands by Dutch parents, clocked 4:14.02 to clinch her first Olympic berth.

Mia Manganello, who came out of a six-year retirement to try and make her first Olympic team, was second in 4:15.73.

The U.S. can only send one woman to the Olympics in the 3000m, meaning Manganello is out of luck in her best event. She still has a shot in the 1500m, 5000m and mass start later this week.

Schoutens, 23, is the top U.S. woman in the 3000m this World Cup season, ranking 13th, after suffering from concussion effects for about a year between 2015 and 2016.

She was a national junior medalist for the dominant Dutch before switching to the U.S. in 2014 while in medical school.

“I was looking to find a different training team for my sport, and I decided to include American options into my search,” said Schoutens, who continued her studies from long distance in Utah. “I came in contact with [U.S. coach] Matt Kooreman, and after Skyping with him a couple of times, I made up my mind.”

The U.S., not strong in distance races recently, last won an Olympic 3000m medal in 1980 (Beth Heiden‘s bronze).

The U.S. is strongest in the 1000m and 1500m. Those Olympic Trials races are later this week.

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