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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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USOEC Skaters compete internationally

There was a lot of travel for the United States Olympic Education Center (USOEC) speedskating team as they competed worldwide since the beginning of 2011.

The speedskaters competed in the World Cup V in Moscow, Russia, and the American Cup III in Midland, Mich. on Feb. 11-13. The athletes also traveled to Dresden, Germany, to participate in the Germany World Cup on Feb. 18-20.

Anthony Lobello was the lone USOEC member to participate in both the World Cup V and the Germany World Cup as he had a fifth place showing with a time of 1:28.006 in the 1000-meter at the World Cup V.  Noh Jinkyu of South Korea took home the event with a time of 1 minute and 26.661 seconds while Thibaut Fauconnet came in second, fellow American, Travis Jayner, was next in third.

Back in the U.S., 13 USOEC skaters took part at the American Cup III in Midland.  Just like the U.S. Junior Championships, the American Cup was broken down into four events: a 1500-meter, 500-meter, 1000-meter and a second 1500-meter. The events also had one to two heats to work out a winner and establish the points system.

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Levi Kirkpatrick along with Erin Bartlett won the overall event in the men’s and women’s divisions with 3112 and 3600 points respectively. Kirkpatrick claimed the 1500-meters quarterfinal as he touched the ice first with a time of 2:29.369. He continued his dominance on the ice in the semifinals (2:23.274) before bowing out in the finals to USOEC teammate

Chris Creveling finished with a time of 2:28.037. Kirkpatrick then finished back on top in the 500-meters quarterfinals and semifinals with 43.691 and 42.912 points. Like the 1500-meter finals, Kirkpatrick came up short in the last round of the 500-meter with a fourth place finish.  However in the 1000-meter event, it was the other way around for Kirkpatrick as he won the finals with a time of 1:33.051.

In the final event of the American Cup, the 15-meters, Kirkpatrick came in second place in both the semifinals and superfinals.  Bartlett came out on top in the semifinals (2:39.660) and finals (2:31.346) in the 1500-meter and in the quarterfinals (48.653), semifinals (48.116) and finals (46.865) of the 500-meters.

Unfortunately, Bartlett didn’t have that same success in the 1000 and 1500-meter events as she took second place in both the quarterfinals and finals of the 1000 and the superfinals of the 1500.

After winning the overall event at the American Cup III, Bartlett said that she is going to use this win as a motivation to achieve an her accomplishment. “My goal is to finish in the top spots into a possible win to prepare for the next season,” she said.

Speedskating co-head coach Tricia Stennes said that she has high hopes for this year’s team.

“I have confidence in their preparation and abilities but it’s hard to get too confident because it’s unpredictable,” she said. Stennes also said she is going to make some changes for next season with the off season training and renewing the commitment from the athletes.

Lobello, Kimberly Derrick and Jordan Malone were among the individuals that represented the U.S. National Team last year.  Stennes said they are making a major impact towards the team as a much better unit.

The team has two meets left in the season as they compete at the American Cup Final/National Age Group Champ (March. 11-13) in Wausau, Wisc., where 13 USOEC skaters have qualified to compete, and Lobello will take part at the World Championships in Sheffield, England (March 11-13).

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