The 2014 U.S. Olympic long-track speedskating trials concluded on Wednesday, Jan. 1 as 17-year-old Emery Lehman qualified for the men's 10,000-meter race and Maria Lamb took the spot for the women's 5,000-meter event.
The long-track action from Kearns, Utah is over, but not before some of the most thrilling action in recent memory as the two final races of the six-day event did not disappoint.
These notable results will certainly shake up how things will unfold in Sochi come February, as medal contenders were eliminated and others emerged as a surprise.
Here's a look at the results from Wednesday's long-track speedskating.
|Men's 10,000M Results|
Men's 10,000 Meters: Emery Lehman Qualifies
America loves its young phenoms in the Olympics, and Emery Lehman will be one of them in Sochi for the 2014 Games. The 17-year-old won the 10,000-meter event in thrilling fashion to qualify for a second event in the Olympics.
Despite the race going a full 25 laps, it came down to a mere .07 seconds between Lehman and Jonathan Kuck, and it was the youngster who emerged from the photo finish in a race that rarely sees such a close result.
Even after holding off Kuck, who qualified and finished eighth in the event in the 2010 Games, Lehman's victory wasn't locked up quite yet. He had to survive an onslaught in the second paring between Patrick Meek and Edwin Park.
Park fell off the pace quickly, but Meek looked poised to best Lehman's time before coming up just short. He finished .39 seconds shy of the winning time.
Despite their shortcomings, Meek and Kuck have already qualified for events as both qualified for the 5,000 and Kuck also will compete in the 1,500 in Sochi.
Lehman took the 10,000-meter speedskating competition to qualify for his second event. He already had punched his ticket to Sochi by finishing as a runner-up in the 5,000.
Women's 5,000 Meters: Maria Lamb Qualifies
It was an awfully tough couple of days for Maria Lamb, but 2014 started for her the same way that 2010 and 2006 did as she secured an appearance in her third straight Olympic Games by dominating the 5,000-meter speedskating trials.
It wasn't even close, as Lamb notched a finishing time of 7:13.31. She beat the runner-up Petra Acker by more than seven seconds.
With no 10,000, this race is the longest speedskating event for women, and Lamb made it obvious that she's far and away the most talented skater in the event by winning by a sizable margin.
Lamb overcame a scare two days before the race when she checked into an emergency room with breathing issues and a severe migraine, per Associated Press' Paul Newberry (via Yahoo!). But she was able to bounce back enough to stake her claim as the top women's long-track speedskater in the U.S.
The 27-year-old will hope that things go more smoothly for her this time around than they did in 2010 and 2006, when she failed to medal.
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