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Dover Post
  • Winter sports notebook: American short track skaters advance, while US women's bobsled teams in medal position

  • U.S. short track skaters Jessica Smith, Emily Scott and J.R. Celski will all have one more shot at an Olympic medal.
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  • KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia - U.S. short track skaters Jessica Smith, Emily Scott and J.R. Celski will all have one more shot at an Olympic medal. Smith and Scott both advanced into the 1,000-meter short track quarterfinals with smart, aggressive skating. While Smith's strategy was to get out in front as quickly as possible, Scott survived a foul from another skater as both finished second. "You hope the judges see and feel what you felt," Scott said. "I was glad that I was able to secure that second spot on my own and not rely on them." She said it was difficult not to panic as she fell behind, but her experience racing helped her stay focused. "It's hard not to panic because it takes so much energy to catch back up," Scott said. "And you just never know. There's a slight moment of panic, but thankfully, able to catch up on my own." Smith's strategy was to avoid the pack - where problems can be race-ending - from the beginning. "I had a tough race right from the start and I knew it," she said. I didn't want to try to battle everybody from the back. I knew I needed to be up front. That's kind of where I wanted to stay no matter what, so I tried to make that happen as much as possible." She was tripped by another skater in the 500-meter race, but she said she doesn't think about that when she takes the ice. "I kind of stay within my own race, and do what I can to control what I can," she said. She said the team isn't discouraged by the fact that neither U.S. short track nor long track teams have earned a medal in Sochi. It doesn't change what the skaters have always tried to do, and that's win races. "We train day in and day out to try and get a medal at the games," Smith said. "That's still what the focus of the team is. We want to win medals not only for our country but for ourselves. Everybody's spirits are still up. ... We've just had some bad breaks, and you know, that's short track." Celski of Federal Way, Wash., was the lone American to advance in his last individual event. Eddy Alvarez of Miami, who was third at the time, crashed in the turn and was eliminated. Jordan Malone of Denton, Texas, finished last in his heat. U.S. WOMEN BOBSLEDDERS IN MEDAL POSITION: Things couldn't get much better for Elana Meyers and Lauryn Williams. After two runs, the pair of Americans lead the women's bobsled competition at Sanki Sliding Center. In their first run they set both a start record and a track record, and then they broke the start record (5.12 seconds) on their second run. They lead Canadians Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse by 0.23 seconds. "It feels pretty good, but we still have a lot of work to do," Meyers said. "It's not over, it's a battle, but I feel great and couldn't be happier about having two U.S. teams in the mix." Humphries is the World Cup champion, so Meyers is leaving nothing to chance. "Kaillie is a true competitor," Meyers said. "You can't count her out, and I knew I had to lay down another great run if we wanted to stay in the lead." Meyers credited Williams, who has competed in three Summer Olympics and owns two medals, for helping her get off to such a strong start. "I did make some mistakes in my second run, but I was allowed to because Lauryn is killer back there with those pushes," Meyers said. Williams has only been involved with bobsled for six months. She helped U.S. pilots earn three medals this season, but she was still nervous about her Winter Olympic debut Tuesday. "The nerves took me over all day long, and I got on that line and I felt like I was literally going to jump out of my skin," Williams said. "That's a good feeling and how I felt in track and field, and I know what that means - it means going fast." USA-2 pilot Jamie Greubel and Aja Evans are just 0.33 behind the Canadians. "We are hungry to fight to get even better tomorrow," Greubel said. "We are definitely happy that we're in the mix, but we're definitely hungry for more. I was expecting it to be very competitive and I was not complacent in any way coming into this race. I'm just trying to focus on my driving, and when I drive well, the time is going to come." USA-3 pilot Jazmine Fenlator teamed up with another former Summer Olympian, Lolo Jones, and they sit in 11th place after two runs. "It's my first Olympics and I've been antsy to get on the ice," Fenlator said. "Everyone reacts differently, and I tend to get ahead of myself in the sled, so the first run I made a few crucial mistakes. That's what I worked on the second run, and we also wanted to be a little faster on the push, and that was executed by Lolo." The women's third heat begins at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday night.%3Cimg%20src%3D%22http%3A//beacon.deseretconnect.com/beacon.gif%3Fcid%3D146388%26pid%3D46%22%20/%3E
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