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    Saturday, November 15, 1997

    Americans try new clap skates at World Cup

     ROSEVILLE, Minn. (AP) -- Americans needed some time to get used to the new clap skates -- which have improved scores for Europeans -- at a World Cup speedskating event Saturday.
     Chris Witty of West Allis, Wis., finished third in the women's 1,000 meter to become the first American to qualify for a spot on the U.S. women's team for the 1998 Winter Olympics in three months at Nagano, Japan.
     Witty had the best day among the Americans in their first international competition in the skates. The Dutch-developed skate has a normal-size blade and boot. But the blade is hinged at the toe, allowing the full runner to stay in contact with the ice as the skater glides, increasing the force on the track.
     Jeremy Wotherspoon of Canada finished first in the men's 1,000 meters, setting a new track record of 1 minute, 14.52 seconds. The old record of 1:14.70 was set by Miyaobe Yukinori of Japan last February.
     Casey FitzRandolph of Verona, Wis., was the top American in the men's 1,000, finishing seventh in 1:15.87 on the new clap skates. He could still qualify for the Olympics in the event with a finish in the top six Sunday.
     FitzRandolph said the new skates will cut down times and force rewrites of the record books, but they won't affect the overall standings.
     "For the most part, the top skaters are going to stay on top," FitzRandolph said.
     Franziska Schenk of Germany won the women's 1,000 meters in 1:20.18, breaking a track record of 1:22.21 she set last February. Witty was third at 1:21.83.
     Hiroyasu Shimizu of Japan finished first at 37:36 in the men's 500 meters. FitzRandolph was the top American even though he slipped in the last corner to finish 20th at 38:72.
     Cariona LeMay-Doan of Canada came in first for the women's 500 meters at 40:83. Witty was the top American, tied for ninth at 41:60.
     World Cup Speedskating Results
     ROSEVILLE, Minn. (AP) -- Results Saturday in the World Cup speedskating (all distances in meters):
     1. Hiroyasu Shimizu, Japan, 37.36 seconds; 2. Mike Ireland, Canada, 37.49; 3. Grunde Njos, Norway, 37.70; 4. Erban Wennemars, Netherlands, 37.87; 5. Manabu Horii, Japan, 37.95; 6. Sylvain Bouchard, Canada, 37.96; 7. (tie) Kevin Overland, Canada, 37.97, Liu Hongbo, China, 37.97; 9. Jeremy Wotherspoon, Canada, 38.04; 10. (tie) Jan Bos, Netherlands, 38.10, Patrick Bouchard, Canada, 38.10, Janne Hanninen, Finland, 38.10. Americans: 20. Casey FitzRandolph (Verona, Wis.), 38.72; Cory Carpenter (Brookfield, Wis.), 39.07; 28. K.C. Boutiette (Tacoma, Wash.), 39.17; 30. Marc Pelchat (Chelmsford, Mass.), 39.20; 35. David Cruikshank (Northbrook, Ill.), 40.14. 1,000
     1. Jeremy Wotherspoon, Canada, one minute 14.52 seconds; 2. Jakko Jan Leeuwangh, Netherlands, 1:14.84; 3. Jan Bos, Netherlands, 1:15.41; 4. Sylvain Bouchard, Canada, 1:15.64; 5. Manabu Horii, Japan, 1:15.68; 6. Erban Wennemars, Netherlands, 1:15.71; 7. Casey FitzRandolph, Verona, Wis., 1:15.87; 8. Mike Ireland, Canada, 1:16.24; 9. Kevin Overland, Canada, 1:16.55; 10. (tie) Cory Carpenter, Brookfield, Wis., 1:16.60, Gerard Van Velde, Netherlands, 1:16.60; Americans: 12. K.C. Boutiette (Tacoma, Wash.), 1:16.78; 30. Tim Hoffman (Waukesha, Wis.), 1:18.50; 35. David Cruikshank (Northbrook, Ill.), 1:19.19. Women
     1. Catriona LeMay-Doan, Canada, 40.83 seconds; 2. Franziska Schenk, Germany, 40.89; 3. Monique Garbrecht, Germany, 41.07; 4. Sabine Volker, Germany, 41.15; 5. Susan Auch, Canada, 41.18; 6. Eriko Sanmiya,Japan, 41.24; 7. Linda Johnson-Blair, Canada, 41.51; 8. Tomomi Okazaki, Japan, 41.58; 9. (tie) Therese Hoiseth Edel, Norway, 41.60, Chris Witty, West Allis, Wis., 41.60. Americans: 24. Becky Sundstrom (Glen Ellyn, Ill.), 42.51; 29. Moira D' Andrea (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), 43.28; 31. Kim Strzykalski (East Troy, Wis.), 43.55; 34. Tama Sundstrom (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) 43.84. 1,000
     1. Franziska Schenk, Germany, one minute 20.18 seconds; 2. Anke Baier Loef, Germany, 1:21.68; 3. Chris Witty, West Allis, Wis., 1:21.83; 4. Catriona LeMay-Doan, Canada, 1:21.97; 5. Sabine Volker, Germany, 1:22.29; 6. Eriko Sanmiya, Japan, 1:22.84; 7. Monique Garbrecht, Germany, 1:23.10; 8. Marianne Timmer, Netherlands, 1:23.14; 9. Aki Tonoike, Japan, 1:23.17; 10. Sandra Zwolle, Netherlands, 1:23.48; Americans: 12. Becky Sundstrom (Glen Ellyn, Ill.), 1:23.91; 14. Moira D'Andrea (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), 1:24.17; 30. Kim Strzykalski (East Troy, Wis.), 1:26.60; Tama Sundstrom (Glen Ellyn, Ill.), 1:26.98.