For the men, Zak Ketterson (USST/NMU) was the only American qualifier in 15th (+5.65) in the U23 World Championship men’s skate sprint in Oberwiesenthal, Germany. Logan Diekmann (Univ. of Utah) was the next American finisher in 44th (+12.36) followed by Zane Fields (Ford Sayre) in 45th (+12.82) and Hunter Wonders (APU) in 52nd (+14.03).
On the Canadian side, Graham Ritchie (Big Thunder Nordic) was the top qualifier in 6th (+3.37), followed by Antoine Cyr (Skinouk) in 18th (+5.82). Outside the heats, Pierre Grall-Johnson (Nakkertok) finished 64th (+21.85), followed by Phillippe Boucher (Commission de ski nordique Skibec) in 71st (+1:34.97).
Ketterson raced in the fourth heat of the quarters, hovering near the back of the pack for the first half of the lap, then making a move to advance. He narrowly dodged a crash as Canada’s Ritchie caught an edge in the loose top layer of snow as they rounded a curve, but was not able to put himself in a position to contend for a top-two spot. Ketterson finished 5th in the heat, followed by Ritchie. They ended the day in 22nd and 26th, respectively.
Cyr also finished sixth in the final heat of the quarters, finishing 28th overall.
Norway’s Vebjørn Hegdal won the men’s final with Italy’s Mattia Armellini second, and Norway’s Harald Østberg Amundsen third.