Duluth native lands a spot on Olympic speedskating team

  • Article by: RACHEL BLOUNT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 2, 2014 - 12:50 AM

 

Duluth native Anna Ringsred was named to the U.S. Olympic team for long-track speedskating Wednesday, after finishing second in the women’s 3,000 meters last Friday at the Olympic trials in Kearns, Utah.

Maria Lamb of River Falls, Wis., a St. Paul native and member of the Twin Cities’ Midway Speedskating Club, also made the team by winning the women’s 5,000 Wednesday on the final day of the trials. Lamb will skate in her third Olympics, while Ringsred made her first Olympic team. The two are among eight women and nine men named to the roster that will compete at the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, next month.

Ringsred, 29, is a chemical engineer who now lives in Calgary, Alberta. After falling short of making the Olympic team in 2010, she stopped racing for 18 months, but she decided to take one last shot at an Olympic berth. She finished the 3,000 in 4 minutes, 13.81 seconds, about four seconds behind winner Jilleanne Rookard.

While Rookard’s victory earned her a place on the Olympic team, Ringsred had to wait to see how other races played out before her spot was assured.

“I’ve wanted to go [to the Olympics] my whole life, and it’s actually going to happen,’’ Ringsred told TeamUSA.org. “It’s my last chance, and I made it. I can’t believe it.’’

Lamb, 27, fell ill two days before Wednesday’s race and sought treatment at an emergency room for breathing problems and a migraine. She won the 5,000 in dominating fashion, finishing in 7:13.31 to beat runner-up Petra Acker by more than seven seconds.

Born in St. Paul, Lamb grew up in River Falls and now lives and trains in Park City, Utah. Her long résumé includes several U.S. championships and World Cup medals, as well as Olympic appearances in 2006 and 2010.

Marine on St. Croix man makes Games

Leif Nordgren of Marine on St. Croix is among five athletes who have been named to the U.S. Olympic biathlon team.

Nordgren, 24, is in his fourth year competing on the World Cup biathlon circuit. A graduate of Forest Lake High School, he has been part of American relay teams that competed at the world championships in 2013 (12th place), 2011 (sixth) and 2010 (10th). This season, he has anchored the U.S. team to top-11 finishes in World Cup events in France and Austria.

Nordgren began competing in the sport in 2007 and now trains in Lake Placid, N.Y.

“I’m not sure it’s still really sunk in yet, but I’m pretty excited,’’ said Nordgren, a first-time Olympian. “I tried not to think about the qualification process too much this last trimester, but I definitely couldn’t help myself sometimes. This is a lifelong dream come true.’’

Etc.

Jessie Diggins, from Stillwater High School, finished 32nd in a 10K classic race at the Tour de Ski on Wednesday in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.

 

 

News services contributed to this report.

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