The final spots on the U.S. Speed Skating Olympic Team for the 2022 Winter Games were awarded Sunday in the men’s and women’s mass start event.
Women's Mass Start
Giorgia Birkeland entered the day outside the conversation for an Olympic spot. However, the 19-year-old planted herself on the back of race favorite Mia Manganello Kilburg an the two worked together to finish 1-2. In the final meters, Manganello Kilburg, who needed only to place in the top-3 to earn an automatic spot on the team, eased up and let Birkeland take the race win.
Birkeland’s win did not grant her automatic qualification, but later in the evening USA Speed Skating announced her as the discretionary choice for the second Olympic Team spot.
Manganello Kilburg will also compete in the 1500m event at the Winter Olympics, and would be Team USA’s entrant in the 3000m if given a spot by the international speed skating federation.
Men's Mass Start
The men’s mass start race followed a similar script with a dark horse grabbing the win ahead of the overall favorite. Ian Quinn powered to a victory of more than two seconds to secure a trip to his first Winter Olympics.
Farther back in the pack, three-time mass start world champion Joey Mantia finished sixth, which was enough to keep him in the Olympic mix for the event.
Mantia won the 1500m race on Saturday to guarantee himself entry into that event as well.