She hasn’t made it official, but the speedskating career of Taylor Wentz has all but come to an end.
The Columbus East graduate finished 15th in last month’s U.S. Short Track Olympic Team Trials. Only the top three qualified for the 2018 Winter Olympics, which are Feb. 5 to 18 in South Korea.
“I think I’m done,” Wentz said. “I haven’t missed it yet, and I haven’t really felt like going back to training.”
Wentz and her husband, Michael Burdekin, recently bought a house in Columbus. They are planning to move in April when the lease is up on their apartment in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Wentz and Burdekin, a former speedskater himself, have been living in Salt Lake City. That town hosted the Olympic Trials in December at the Olympic Oval.
All 16 women who had qualified for the trials skated in six events. They did two 1,500-meter races the first day, two 500s the second day and two 1,000s the final day.
After finishing 15th in the first 1,500, Wentz won the “C” final to place 13th in the second 1,500. She was disaqualified for bumping a competitor on a pass in her first 500 but had three personal-best times between the heats and finals and was 12th in the second 500 final.
“I had a couple of bad races,” Wentz said. “I wasn’t nervous at all leading up to the races and even the day of the race, and it kind of all hit me at once. I was really glad that I stuck around to be able to say that I did this. I was hoping to place one or two places higher, but it was just about being my best and soaking it in.”
Wentz finished 14th in the first 1,000 race on the final day. But then she came through with her best finish of the Trials, an 11th in the final 1,000.
“At the moment, it doesn’t really feel like it was that big of an accomplishment,” Wentz said. “It feels like it was just any other race. But next year, or even watching the Olympics, I’m sure it will set in. It will just take a little while.”
When Wentz and her husband return to Columbus, they plan to become involved with Crossroads Speedskating Club at Hamilton Center Ice Arena. Wentz, who was a figure skater before taking up speedskating, wants to work her way into the figure skating side and administrative side.
Both Wentz and Burdekin plan to teach speedskating. Burdekin likely will teach the higher levels of skaters, and Wentz could teach the lower levels.
“Hopefully, we can have a real team and be able to travel to competitions and have a development pipeline,” Wentz said. “That would be the dream, anyway.”
Taylor Wentz’s results from the U.S. Short Track Olympic Team Trials:
First 1,500: 15th (3 minutes, 10.513 seconds)
Second 1,500: 13th (2:55.377)
First 500: Disqualified
Second 500: 12th (46.487)
First 1,000: 14th (1:54.275)
Second 1,000: 11th (1:40.384)