MILWAUKEE — Carlijn Schoutens made quick work of the 5,000 meters at the U.S. speedskating trials.
With just four women competing in the event and lacking a serious challenge in her pairing, Schoutens cruised to victory Thursday night and earned a second Olympic berth to go with the 3,000.
She won in 7 minutes, 12.25 seconds. On her last lap, Schoutens lapped Rebecca Simmons, briefly leaving both skaters in the same lane.
“It really doesn’t matter for someone to chase or not for me, just trying to stick with my own plan,” Schoutens said.
Only the winner qualified for the Pyeongchang Games.
Petra Acker was second in 7:26.48. Three-time Olympian Maria Lamb finished third at 7:31.09. Simmons was last in 7:51.96.
Schoutens, born in Trenton, New Jersey, to Dutch parents, won the 3,000 on Tuesday to qualify for her first Olympics.
“Two out of two so far,” she said. “I’m really happy.”
Her parents flew in from the Netherlands to cheer her on. After moving between the U.S. and Netherlands as a child, Schoutens decided to settle in Salt Lake City three years ago and focus on her skating. She has put her medical studies on hold overseas.
“To be an American always gives me that pride and I wanted to spend more time there when I could,” she said.
In the 10,000, Chase Reichmann won in 14:25.90 to claim a national title. The U.S. didn’t earn a spot in the event for the Olympics, so there was only one pairing competing.
Reichmann skated against Theron Sands, a 53-year-old accountant whose time of 14:35.30 was a personal best at the Pettit.
Sands drives north from Champaign, Illinois, every Wednesday to train at the Pettit and returns home on Sunday. He wore his regular glasses during the grueling 25-lap race and occasionally pushed them up on his nose.
“I’ve worked for six years to get to this point,” Sands said. “People were screaming my name out there.”
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