The Season 6 opener of the National SpeedSkating Circuit surpassed all expectations with the men, as always, bringing high caliber, all out speed and skill in their racing. But the excitement of the women’s debut is what really blew the roof off the Armory. Let’s take a look at the results.
The first final of the night was the men’s 300m Sprint. It was Brandon Hall from start to finish. Winning the start and putting a sizeable lead on his competition, Brandon was able to show early dominance in the Sprint division. Rounding out the field were Maurice Hall, Alex Holmes, Zac Sagiao and Franklin Hewitt.
The Endurance men took the floor for their first final, the 1600m. Four-time Olympian, K.C. Boutiette, fought to hold the lead for the first half, but Isaiah Oliver took over and it looked like he had the race in the bag. Justin Stelly was having none of it, grabbing the lead with two laps to go—Oliver in 2nd, Josh Fredrickson pulling in a first season podium placement with the bronze, followed by Bobby Beers, Boutiette and Donavon Sellers, with Wesley Gandy receiving a DQ for blocking and straddling.
The Ladies were next up, with their debut final, the 1300m. Olympian, Brittany Bowe, won the start, Erin Jackson, Franchesca Bell and Chelsi LeGault passing into the fray. Four laps to go, Bowe took the lead and laid down her jaw dropping power, Bell hanging on hard to take 2nd, Jackson in 3rd, followed by Janet Jones, Brianna Bocox, Whitney Emrick, Misha Averill, McKenzie Browne, and Chclsi LeGault.
Men’s Time Trials
(Top three placements for men from sprint or endurance final race the time trial)
Maurice Hall skated 4th, then had to hold his breath to see if his time of 8.59 would put him on top of the podium. When he exhaled, he had the win.
1st Maurice Hall, 8.59
2nd Justin Stelly, 8.61
3rd Brandon Hall 8.64
4th Alex Holmes, 8.69
5th Isaiah Oliver, 8.77
6th Josh Fredrickson, 9.00
Following the Time Trial, the Ladies were back for their 300m final. Brittany Bowe won another start, and it looked like she had the race, but coming out of the corner in lap two, Erin Jackson took charge with an incredible pass. Franchesca Bell, fast on their heels, slipped going full out and somehow stayed on her feet, taking the bronze. Whitney Emrick took 4th, followed by McKenzie Browne and Janet Jones.
Brandon Hall took the start in the Men’s 500 Sprint, and his was the only safe place to be, almost a last man standing race behind him, with Alex Holmes and Maurice Hall battling it out, Franklin Hewitt taking advantage, but when the dust cleared, Brandon had the win, Zac Sagiao in 2nd, Alex Holmes 3rd, and Franklin Hewitt 4th. Mo Hall DQ’d.
In the Men’s 1000 Endurance final, Josh Fredrickson took the start, pass or be passed with Isaiah Oliver, Justin Stelly and Bobbie Beers in the mix. Six to go, and it was Fredrickson, Oliver, Wesley Gandy, Beers, Stelly, and K.C. Boutiette. Two to go and Stelly went for the win, Gandy hot on his heels, Fredrickson fighting to hang onto 3rd, but Isaiah Oliver inched him out at the line, Beers and Boutiette rounding out the field. Donavon Sellers scratched the race due to injury.
Women’s Time Trials
It came down to the last skater and 1/100th of a second, but Franchesca Bell took home the title of Fastest Woman on Skates with an 8.97, 100 meter time, besting Brittany Bowe’s 8.98. Third place went to Erin Jackson, who skated a 9.28.
1st Franchesca Bell, 8.97
2nd Brittany Bowe, 8.98
3rd Erin Jackson, 9.28
4th Whitney Emrick, 9.42
5th Chelsi LeGault, 9.44
6th McKenzie Browne, 9.52
7th Janet Jones 9.54
8th Brianna Bocox 9.57
9th Misha Averill 9.59
The NSC Men’s Grand Champion 800m had Brandon Hall leading and Maurice Hall and Isaiah Oliver fighting him for that first place. Justin Stelly, on a mission, had to get to the front and he did, to reclaim the Black Jersey. Isaiah Oliver had to settle for 2nd, Zac Sagiao taking the last spot on the podium, followed by Maurice Hall, Wesley Gandy and Brandon Hall.
Last race of the night showcased the women—800 meters with Brittany Bowe going for the win right from the gun. Erin Jackson and Franchesca Bell weren’t giving it up, and a little bump set Bowe and the rest of the field back with Bell skating like the hounds of hell were after her. Nobody else was even in the picture until here came Bowe, reeling in Bell with that absolute power and certainty of a champion. It came down to the line—two wide going into the last corner, and Bowe’s hawk just edged out Bell for the first NSC Women’s Grand Championship. Erin Jackson hung on for 3rd, Whitney Emrick taking 4th, followed by McKenzie Browne and Janet Jones.