Advertisement
 

Olympic Speed Skating Trials : Mary Docter Earns Spot on U.S. Team

December 20, 1987|Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — Mary Docter, who gave up speed skating after consecutive sixth-place finishes in the 1980 and 1984 Winter Olympics, won a spot on the 1988 team Saturday night.

Docter, who was working in a Madison, Wis., restaurant, began training seriously only one month ago but skated to a first-place finish in the 3,000 meters in 4 minutes 45.02 seconds.

"I don't know what I'm going to do, but now I'm psyched up to see what I can do," Docter said.

Docter said she left the sport after the 1984 Games a bitter athlete because she didn't succeed after years of training.

But she became interested again when a customer in the restaurant recognized her and began asking her why she wasn't skating.

"I had a lot of free time and I needed the sport because I wasn't doing anything with my life," said the 26-year-old Docter, who was also coaching a youth team in Madison.

As the time trials rolled through their fifth night in a steady rain, Bonnie Blair continued her domination of the women's division.

On the men's side, Erik Henriksen, 29, of Champaign, Ill., clinched a spot on his third straight Olympic team by winning the men's final 500-meter trial in 38.53 seconds.

Blair of Champaign, Ill., took the women's 500 meters in 42.30 seconds and now has won all four 500-meter trials, both 1,500-meter trials and one 1,000-meter trial. She will skate one more race, the third and final 1,000 meters, today.

Blair will skate three events at Calgary, Canada, Feb. 13-28--the 500, 1,000 and 1,500.

"In the last ('84) trials, I was working on making the team. This time, I basically knew I could be on the team," Blair said.

"My thoughts and efforts are going toward February and not worrying so much about this time."

Also qualifying to make the women's 500-meter team were Kristen Talbot of Schuylerville, N.Y.; Peggy Clasen of Roseville, Minn., and Leslie Bader of Bridgeport, Conn., who has the fifth spot as an alternate. Katie Class, who finished second in the 500-meter point standings, already had an exemption to make the team.

Also qualifying to make the men's team were Tom Cushman of Roseville, Minn., and Marty Pierce of Milwaukee.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|