|Prince William Hospital to Present the 2012 US Junior National Short Track Speedskating Championships January 27-29|
74 top junior short track speed skaters, ages 13-19,
will vie for a berth on the U.S. Junior World Championship team at the 3-day
U.S. Junior National Short Track Speedskating Championships, presented by Prince
William Hospital in Manassas, Virginia. The eight U.S. Junior skaters selected
at the January 27-29, 2012 meet will compete in the World Junior Short Track
Championships taking place just weeks later in Melbourne, Australia. The Junior
Nationals are an important stepping stone to a possible future Olympic Games
selection, in a sport where more U.S. Winter Olympic medals have been won than
in any other sport.
Prince William Hospital is the presenting sponsor of
this weekend's championship. "We are delighted this national championship is
being held in our community, and we are proud to support these young athletes,"
said Mary Beth Gibson, hospital spokesperson. The events are expected to draw
over 1,000 skaters and families, officials, volunteers from all over the U.S.
including hundreds of local spectators from the greater Washington metropolitan
region who will be on hand to watch the future of short-track speed skating in
heart-stopping action. This meet is the inaugural short-track speedskating event
at the brand-new Prince William Ice Center in Woodbridge, rebuilt from scratch
after a devastating snowstorm in February 2010 destroyed the facility.
Favored by many to make his third U.S. Junior World team and defend his
U.S. Junior Championship crown, U.S. National team member John-Henry Krueger
(Pittsburgh, PA) is looking forward to competing at this new venue. "I started
speed skating in the DC area, and my mother would drive me and my brother Cole
here nearly every weekend to train because we didn't have speed skating in
Pittsburgh," he commented. "I think I'll be very competitive at this year's
Junior World Championships in Melbourne, and that's been an objective of mine
all season," he added. Krueger, 16, finished 4th two weeks ago at the U.S.
Short-Track Championships and has qualified for the U.S. (senior) World Cup team
and will depart immediately after the Junior Championships for World Cup 5 in
The Virginia/Maryland/DC area is a hotbed for short-track
speedskating in the U.S., driven in part by the strong local Korean-American
community. In world competition, Korean skaters have dominated the sport, but
the U.S. team is also regarded as a powerhouse in the sport thanks, in part, to
the achievements of Apolo Anton Ohno, J.R. Celski and Katherine Reutter. There
are seven short-track clubs in the area, and all but two have Korean or
Korean-American coaches. These non-profit speed skating clubs have joined forces
to host this event under the leadership of Scott Koons, Meet Director, 1998
Olympian and Head Coach of the Virginia Speedskating Club with help from the
Potomac Speedskating Club and the Prince William Ice Center and Prince William
Racing will begin at 11 am daily. Admission is free.
For more information please call 301-526-5447, or visit www.pwice.com
About US Speedskating
US Speedskating is
a non-profit organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and
the International Skating Union as the governing body for the sport of
speedskating in the United States. Its mission is to be one of the premier
speedskating organizations in the world through excellence in leadership,
development and performance. To date, US Speedskating has won 85 Olympic medals,
making it the most successful winter sport in the U.S. In addition to its elite
programs, US Speedskating is responsible for the grassroots development of
speedskating. For more information, follow US Speedskating on Facebook, Twitter
and visit www.usspeedskating.org.
About Prince William
Prince William Hospital, an affiliate of Novant Health, is
a not-for-profit hospital located at 8700 Sudley Road, Manassas, VA 20110. The
hospital's mission is to improve the health of its communities, one person at a