Jordan Stolz caps historic speedskating season with world allround title

Germany Speedskating Worlds
Posted at 11:48 AM, Mar 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-11 12:48:23-04

INZELL, Germany (AP) — Jordan Stolz became the youngest allround speedskating world champion since Eric Heiden and the first American to win the title since Shani Davis, capping a dominating performance Sunday with the highest points total ever.

The 19-year-old Stolz started the day with a track record in the 1,500 meters at Max Aicher Arena, crossing the line in 1 minute, 41.78 seconds. He then took 13 seconds off his personal best in the 10,000.

The Wisconsin native, who is positioning himself to be one of the biggest stars at the 2026 Milan Winter Olympics, totaled 144.740 points to eclipse by 0.821 the previous allround mark set by Patrick Roest of the Netherlands in 2019 on the high-altitude oval in Calgary, Canada.

"I've been beaten by a phenomenon," said Roest, a three-time world champion who settled for the runner-up spot this time behind Stolz. "He is just incredibly strong, he can handle all distances and he even defeats long-distance specialists in their own event. What he does is quite special."

The teenager is the youngest allround world champion since Heiden accomplished the feat as an 18-year-old in 1977. Davis was the last American skater to capture the title in 2006.

Norway's Hallgeir Engebraten claimed the bronze.

Stolz became just the fifth American to win the title, following Heiden (1977, 1978 and 1979), Eric Flaim (1988), Chad Hedrick (2004) and Davis (2005 and 2006).

Hedrick was the last male skater to win the world allround title in his first attempt.

"I'm glad to have it along with the other Americans," Stolz said. "It's a really big honor."

Last month, Stolz won world titles in the 500, 1,000 and 1,500m at the single distance championships in Calgary. His performance at the allround championships capped one of the greatest seasons in speedskating history.

Stolz's amazing rise has led to speculation that he might try to match Heiden as the only skater to win Olympic gold medals in all five individual distances, ranging from 500 to 10,000 meters.

But Stolz said that's an unrealistic goal. Asked if he could compete with the world's best in the longest distances, he said, "Not while maintaining (speed) in the 500. If I were to just focus on the 5,000 and the 10,000, I could do that, but I don't think I can do both."

On the women's side, the powerhouse Dutch team swept the podium.

Joy Beune captured her first allround world title, beating out teammates Marijke Groenewoud and Antoinette Rijpma-de Jong.