The United States’ speed skating team currently holds the world record in the team pursuit event, and they’ll aim to showcase their talents on Tuesday when they hit the Olympic ice.
It was a strong opener for the American squad in the event, as they finished with a time of 3:37.51. That finish put them just 0.04 seconds behind Norway in the quarterfinals, and positioned them for a semifinal showdown with the Russian Olympic Committee when racing resumes Tuesday.
While the U.S. hasn’t officially announced the trio of skaters that will compete in the semifinal, there are several local athletes that could potentially suit up for that race.
Emery Lehman, who hails from suburban Oak Park, was part of the world record-setting squad that put down a blistering 3:34.47 in the team pursuit in Salt Lake City in December.
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These are Lehman’s third Olympics, and he has struggled a bit in Beijing, putting up an 11th place finish in the men’s 1,500 meter race and a 16th place finish in the 5,000 meters.
He teamed up with Casey Dawson and Joey Mantia to set that record, and both men are options for Team USA as they head into the semifinal race.
Ethan Cepuran, who is from Glen Ellyn, skated with Dawson and Lehman in the opening race of the team pursuit competition. This marks his first Olympics with Team USA, and he will also compete in the mass start event later in these Games.
The semifinal runs of the team pursuit start at 12:30 a.m. Central time, with the finals taking place just after 2:45 a.m.