This article has quotes from Barry Winslow, Brett Perry, Kevin Geminder and Kelsey SchielWinslow, Perry have good day at American Cup III
By Dan Chalk / Midland Daily News / February 13, 2011
On a day when short track speed skating lived up to its unpredictable reputation, it was a relatively smooth Saturday for Barry Winslow and the other three Midland skaters on the first day of the American Cup III meet at the Midland Civic Arena.
While several skaters took spills on the ice that cost them points, Winslow, Brett Perry, Kevin Geminder and Kelsey Schiel stayed on their feet and stayed in the hunt for a berth in the American Cup Final.
Winslow is in sixth place in the men's standings going into today's second and final day of the competition, which is the final event of a series of four meets that will determine which 16 men and 16 women advance to the American Cup Final next month in Wausau, Wis.
"I felt really good on the sheet of ice today," said Winslow, 21, who finished fourth in the 1,500-meter final and fifth in the 500 on Saturday. "The ice conditions were fantastic. ... But yeah, (there were) lots of slips today. But I never encountered that."
Winslow looks forward to today's competition, which includes the 1,000 and the Super 1,500, a race that will feature the top 12 skaters in the weekend standings up to that point.
"I've always been a fan of the endurance races," he said. "I feel like they show the strongest aspect of a skater, because not only do you have to go fast at the end, but you have to be able to get to the end. I like the 1,500 and the 1,000. I should like tomorrow."
Saturday's competition featured a number of close race, and a number of competitors who fell during their races.
Gary d**e, Midland Speed Skating Club president and director of the meet, said that's typical for short track speed skating.
"Yeah, we had some real exciting racing today," d**e said. "We usually have some falls and spectacular things going on, which is pretty much par for the course. We had that again today. ... That's short track. It's unfortunate when you get taken down in the last lap."
For Perry, 18, Saturday was a landmark day. He reached the "B" final in the 1,500 for the first time in American Cup competition. He finished fifth in the "B" final and 11th overall, and in the 500 he finished 12th overall.
Perry is in 12th place in the standings for the weekend.
"My 1,500 was probably the best race I've ever skated in the American Cup Series," he said. "I ended up skating in the "B" final and did pretty good. I'm really excited for that."
Skating in his home arena gave Perry a big shot of confidence.
"I'm confident. I've got people behind me (cheering for me)," he said. "I felt great, my blades felt really good. Mentally I felt really good. It was just a good time."
Looking ahead to today, Perry expects more good results.
"I'm confident for tomorrow," he said, noting that he hopes to finish in the top 16 so he can go on to the American Cup Final.
"But if I don't do that, I'll skate in the age group (nationals in Wausau the same weekend as the American Cup Final)."
For Geminder, unexpectedly, his 500 race was his saving grace for the day.
"(The day) started off a little rough," he said. "I had some incidental contact in my first round (of the 1,500) which slowed me up a little bit. But I came back pretty good in the 500, which is usually my worst distance. I can't complain there."
Geminder took 19th in the 1,500 and 15th in the 500. For the weekend, he is in 18th place.
Geminder, like Perry, hopes to qualify for the American Cup Final, but if not, he will skate in the age group national meet.
"I'm just going with however things fall," said Geminder, 31. "I'm not putting any pressure on myself. (There's) no reason to.
"At this point, probably not," Geminder said of his chances of advancing to the American Cup Final. "I'd have to move way up tomorrow (in the standings to advance). But they are running (age group) nationals at the same time, so I'll go there for that."
As for Schiel, 21, she did her best while dealing with a cold during the competition.
"I'm sick, so I'm just trying to make it through," she said. "It's a learning experience. I'm just trying to push through it."
Schiel took 15th in the 1,500 and 11th in the 500, and is in 14th place in the standings for the weekend.
Schiel's consolation was being able to skate in front of her home crowd.
"I love it here. I love the atmosphere," she said. "The club puts on a good meet, so it's always fun skating here."
Schiel noted that her main focus, along with that of her fellow skaters at the U.S. Olympic Education Center in Marquette, who include Perry and Winslow, is to skate well at the American Cup Final.
"Our main focus is the American Cup Final, so we're training hard (for that)," Schiel said.
The Midwest Mini-Cup meet, mostly featuring skaters between the ages of 8-14, was also held at the Midland Civic Arena Saturday morning, and concludes this morning.[/img]
Tags: Barry Winslow / Brett Perry / Kevin Geminder / Kelsey Schiel / Short Track Speedskating