KEARNS -- The stressed-out Katherine Reutter had a breakout season a year ago.
The American short-track speedskater is discovering less thinking can bring good results, too.
Despite being able to train only since mid-September, Reutter won her second 1,500 meters World Cup gold in two days Sunday at the Utah Olympic Oval in the opening short track meet of the season.
"Most of my coaches are stunned that anything is working for me at the moment," Reutter said after holding off South Korea's Lee Eun-byul and China's Li Jianrou on Sunday to win in 2 minutes, 24.005 seconds.
"But what's really working well for me is that I'm trying to change the way I prepare for races. I used to prepare by absolutely knowing what every other girl was going to do and what I was going to do. And that's extremely exhausting."
This weekend, coaches wanted the two-time Olympic medalist and defending 1,500 world champion simply to react and be a "mental" master.
"It was half the stress and a lot less energy and I really like it," said Reutter, who is doing well to move beyond back problems that cropped up last December. "That approach is going to get me on the top more consistently."
Fellow American J.R. Celski, meanwhile, ran into the same roadblock Sunday as he did Saturday -- namely a pair of South Korean teammates.
On Saturday, in his first World Cup race since taking more than a year off after the Vancouver Olympics, Celski was disqualified for impeding Noh Jinkyu in the men's 1,000.
Sunday, he trailed Noh and South Korean Kwak Yoon-gy in the 1,500, and tried to pass on three consecutive laps but couldn't get through.
Noh won in 2:14.238 and Kwak took silver, with Celski settling for the bronze.
"They skated smart," Celski said. "It's unfortunate we didn't clean up the way we wanted to at home, but it just makes us hungry for the next time."
He called the races "building blocks" as he learns what he has to do against each opponent.
"They skated great today," he said about the South Koreans. "I won't take anything away from them."
Britain's Jon Eley claimed gold in the men's 500, making a last-lap inside pass to edge Canadian Charles Hamelin in 41.558, while Canada's Marianne St. Gelais cruised to victory in the women's 500.
"I didn't get the best of start, so I had to make sure I left it late," said Eley, who also helped Britain take silver in the men's 5,000 relay behind Canada.
Hamelin said he lost his right edge when Germany's Robert Seifert fell in front of him.
"I wasn't feeling good after that," said Hamelin, who won gold in the men's 1,500 on Saturday. "I was just trying to hold myself onto the track and not fall. He passed me and I had no move to pass him back."
Hamelin was looking forward to the next World Cup short track races in Quebec next weekend.
"It's going to be good for us to be back at home with our crowd," Hamelin said. "It will pump us to win a few more medals."
While St. Gelais made it look easy in the women's 500, American Jessica Smith had to fight hard for her bronze.
She advanced out of the quarterfinals by a skate then used a quick start in the semifinals to earn a spot in the final.
"I was looking at the semis as my finals and I knew I had to nail my start," Smith said.
While she is the oldest member of the women's team at 28, the weekend races showed some of the rising stars.
American John-Henry Krueger is just 16, and was competing in his first World Cup. He won the men's 500 C final, and had given the U.S. men the lead in the relay final only to fall after making the successful pass.
"It happens to everybody," Celski said about his younger teammate. "But I'm really proud of John-Henry. He's 16 years old, coming up. He's going to be the next kid to look out for. He has great potential."