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Trials Day 6: After week of waiting, Emery Lehman makes Olympic Team

Emery+Lehman+smiled+for+a+photo+after+he+made+the+U.S.+Olympic+Team+as+a+Team+Pursuit+Specialist.+It+will+be+Lehman%27s+second+appearance+in+the+Olympics.+He+is+a+junior+in+the+College+of+Engineering+%28Photo+by+Brendan+Ploen%29.
Emery Lehman smiled for a photo after he made the U.S. Olympic Team as a Team Pursuit Specialist. It will be Lehman's second appearance in the Olympics. He is a junior in the College of Engineering (Photo by Brendan Ploen).

Emery Lehman smiled for a photo after he made the U.S. Olympic Team as a Team Pursuit Specialist. It will be Lehman's second appearance in the Olympics. He is a junior in the College of Engineering (Photo by Brendan Ploen).

Emery Lehman smiled for a photo after he made the U.S. Olympic Team as a Team Pursuit Specialist. It will be Lehman's second appearance in the Olympics. He is a junior in the College of Engineering (Photo by Brendan Ploen).

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There better be a good reason for a college engineering student to not enroll in spring classes. For Marquette junior Emery Lehman, it’ll be because he’s packing his bags and traveling to Pyeongchang, South Korea next month for the 2018 Winter Olympics as a Team Pursuit Specialist in speedskating.

“Now I have to email Ms. Lagerman (my academic advisor) and let her know,” Lehman said.

The College of Engineering student finished up his final event at the Pettit National Ice Center in Milwaukee Sunday with a fifth place finish in the Mass Skate, a 16-lap event involving all those that qualified via World Cup points. There were 25 male skaters and eight female skaters.

Lehman will still have to wait to see if he’ll be able to skate in the 5,000 meter event, which will be announced by the International Skating Union (ISU) and sometime next week.

Even so, Lehman is excited to go to his second Olympic games.”It’s awesome,” Lehman said. “It’s definitely better the second time around than the first time around.”

In the Mass Skate, Lehman led most of the way. His experience as a distance skater enabled him to hold the sprinters off for most of the 16-lap race. It was not until the last lap and a half that he slid back and let the finish play out. Even Lehman did not know what was going to happen.

“I think everyone can go into this race with a plan, but there’s like a million different ways that it can go,” Lehman said. “I don’t really think that anyone had any idea of what was going to happen, so the last lap I kind of stood up and I was watching, trying to watch the final sprint to see who’d get it.”

Joey Mantia, the winner of the Mass Skate based on points, believed that Lehman made the most sense to round out the team.

“It should be Emery Lehman,” Mantia said. “We’ve been doing team pursuits together as a squad the whole season, and we’ve been doing a really good job. We (Mantia, Lehman and Brian Hansen), were the three guys that qualified our position for the games and I just don’t see anyone else that would want to do it, honestly. I think as far as discretionary picks, it would be my pick, but I don’t see anyway that it doesn’t go to Emery.”

Minutes later, Mantia’s prediction came true and Lehman’s name was called.

“(I was on) pins and needles,” Lehman said. “You never really know until the weekend is over, especially with how racing goes, but I knew that I had to come out and race really well. I just had to leave it up to U.S Speedskating to make the decision.”

For now, Lehman will continue to train full time at the Pettit Center with Hansen and Mantia, which he means he won’t be coming back to Marquette for the next few months. Making the Olympics seems like a decent excuse to miss some classes.

NOTES

The United States Speedskating Federation selected 13 skaters, seven men and six women as part of its Long Track team. Here is the full list and the event they qualified for:

Some skaters qualified for more than one event.

  • 500 meters

Men

~Jonathan Garcia

~Mitch Whitmore

~Kimani Griffin

Women

~Heather Bergsma

~Carlijn Schoutens

~Erin Jackson

  • 1,000 meters

Men

~Joey Mantia

~Shani Davis

~Mitch Whitmore

Women

~Heather Bergsma

~Brittany Bowe

~Jerica Tandiman

  • 1,500 meters

Men

~Joey Mantia

~Shani Davis

~Brian Hansen

Women

~Heather Bergsma

~Brittany Bowe

~Mia Manganello

  • 3,000 meters (women only)

~Carlijn Schoutens

  • Mass Start

Men

~Joey Mantia

~Brian Hansen

Women

~Heather Bergsma

~Mia Manganello

  • Team Pursuit (Men only, women did not qualify)

~Joey Mantia

~Brian Hansen

~Emery Lehman

  • Other winners for events, but did not qualify or still have to find out

~Emery Lehman, 5,000 meters (second reserve)

~Chase Reichman, 10,000 meters

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