Ohno sweeps 1,000 and 1,500 meters

Updated: September 11, 2009, 11:10 PM ET
Associated Press

MARQUETTE, Mich. -- Apolo Anton Ohno left trouble in his tracks and returned to a place he knows best: the winner's spot on the podium.

The five-time Olympic medalist swept the 1,000 and 1,500 meters at the U.S. short track speedskating national championships on Friday night, earning his first victories in six events.

His two titles moved Ohno into the overall points lead with one night remaining at the meet that gives Olympic berths to the top five skaters. He overtook J.R. Celski, who had been the leader through the first two nights.

Ohno held off Travis Jayner at the finish of the 1,000 on the hockey rink at Northern Michigan University. He was timed in 1:29.963 to 1:29.998 for Jayner.

Ohno returned later for a wild and woolly 1,500 jammed with seven skaters, creating the potential for plenty of trouble.

But he steered clear, making a successful pass on leader Celski with two laps to go to win. Ohno pumped his right arm and clapped his hands, ending a string of second-place finishes in the first two days.

Ryan Bedford and Jordan Malone wiped out just before the finish line. Both were disqualified, Bedford for impeding and Malone for crosstracking.

Celski finished second. He was third behind Ohno in the 1,000.

The lead in the 1,000 was traded back and forth before Ohno sneaked inside Celski to go in front for good with four laps remaining.

Ohno had finished second in the 500 and 1,500 individual events and in the nine-lap time trial and was fourth in the four-lap time trial.

On the women's side, Katherine Reutter swept the 1,000 and 1,500 races, giving her four victories in three days of competition.

She made an outside pass with two laps remaining and zipped from third to first in the 1,000. She was timed in 1:31.606.

Later, Reutter returned to win the 1,500 by picking off four skaters in front of her to take the lead for good.

Two-time Olympian Allison Baver was second in her first meet since shattering her lower right leg in a race in February.

Reutter, a 21-year-old skater from Champaign, Ill., increased her lead in the overall standings with her fourth victory. She is bidding to make her first Olympic team.

She had already won the first of two 1,500 finals and the nine-lap time trial.

Kimberly Derrick finished second in the 1,000, but was disqualified for impeding. That moved Alyson Dudek up to second, with Baver third and Lana Gehring fourth.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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