Skip to main content
  1. Sports
  2. General Sports

2014 U.S. Olympic news: Smith, Celski claim first two short track team berths

See also

Short track speed skaters Jessica Smith and J.R. Celski successfully claimed the first two spots up for grabs on the sport's 2014 U.S. Olympic team by earning the highest cumulative point totals during the women's and men's 1,500 meter events at the Olympic trials in Salt Lake City on Jan. 3.

After winning the Jan. 2 time trials in both the 500 meter and 1,000 meter distances and scoring 500 points for her efforts, Smith continued to dominate the competition Jan. 3 by posting the best time during the first of two runs of the 1,500 meter distance. The A Final victory added a whopping 1,000 points to her score and bettered the cumulative total of second-place skater Emily Scott by a near-insurmountable 300 points entering the final race.

She continued her dominance with a seemingly effortless skate to earn a spot in the evening's second A-final. Although she finished her final race second to Scott, her cumulative point total of 2,800 was high enough to give her the berth over Scott, who notched 2,600 points of her own.

Although she owns an impressive 12 World Cup medals, the trip to Sochi will be Smith's first Olympic Games experience, as she narrowly missed the cut in 2010. Two other women will eventually join Smith on the ladies' team.

Celski, who took two bronze medals at the 2010 Vancouver Games, also turned in a strong set of performances, winning both the time trials as well as both 1,500 meter A Final races. He skated a particularly impressive second semifinal heat, which saw him fall to the rear of the pack before surging forward in dominant fashion during the latter laps. Like Smith, he led nearest competitor Chris Creveling by 300 points entering his last race of the evening, which he won handily over second-place finisher Eddy Alvarez.

Four other competitors will join Celski on the men's team, bringing the total number of skaters on the U.S. short track Olympic team to eight.

Short track speed skating action at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games kicks off Feb. 10.

Advertisement

Sports

  • David Price rumors
    Should the bottom-dwelling Tampa Bay Rays trade or keep pitching ace David Price?
    Video
    MLB Rumors
  • Maria Kirilenko slideshow
    Feast your eyes on the former fiance of Alex Ovechkin: The newly-single Maria Kirilenko
    Camera
    20 Photos
  • Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen has Alzheimer's disease, will step down
    NFL News
  • Sam responds to Dungy
    Michael Sam has the perfect response to Tony Dungy's controversial comments
    NFL News
  • Bella wardrobe malfunction
    Sexy diva Nikki Bella suffers wardrobe malfunction during WWE show
    Fight Sports
  • LeBron gives cupcakes
    LeBron James sends cupcakes to neighbors after press overtakes neighborhood
    Food & Drink