Bernotas Leads U.S. in Men’s Skeleton World Cup

Dec. 13, 2008, 11:10 a.m. (ET)

Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager

(518) 523-1842, ext 106,


For Immediate Release

December 13, 2008


Bernotas Leads U.S. in Men’s Skeleton World Cup


IGLS, Austria–Twenty-seven sleds fought for the podium in the men’s skeleton World Cup competition in Igls, Austria today.  Eric Bernotas (Avondale, Pa.) led the U.S. with an 11th place finish, while the Zach Lund (Salt Lake City, Utah) struggled with a mishap at the start in the second run, finishing 20th.  Kyle Tress (Trenton, N.J.) made his World Cup debut in today’s event, and finished 19th. 


Coverage from today’s competition can be viewed on-demand by visiting  Universal Sports TV will also offer a one-hour highlight show on Tuesday, Dec. 17th at 8 pm EST. 


“I feel really good mentally,” said Bernotas.  “This race is a step in the right direction, even if the results don’t reflect that. I definitely expected to finish better today, but I’m still pleased with what I was able to learn this week.”


Bernotas powered off the starting block with start times of 5.11 and 5.09 for consistent runs of 53.57 and 53.56, respectively. 


“I’ve been training really well all week, and I thought I’d done the work and knew what I needed to execute in my runs today,” said Bernotas.  “My first run was in the right direction, but I was a little anxious with my steering, which cost me some time.”


Frank Rommel from Germany won his second consecutive gold medal today with a combined time of 1:46.01 after sliding heats of 52.98 and 53.03.  Alexander Tretiakov, the “Russian Rocket,” maintained his reputation as the fastest athlete in the first 30-meters by pushing the fastest times of the day, a 4.80 in both heats.  Tretiakov slid a silver medal performance with a total time of 1:46.26 after runs of 52.93 and 53.33.  Martins Dukurs claimed his third consecutive medal in as many races, finishing third with a two-run total of 1:46.38 for the bronze (53.07, 53.31).


Zach Lund (Salt Lake City, Utah) started today’s race with a push time of 5.17, and slid to the finish with a first run of 53.78 seconds.  The 2007 World Cup champion pushed off the starting block for his second run effort, and caught his left foot on the back of his sled, tumbling onto the ice.  Lund was able to maintain contact with his sled, but on a track where start specialists excel, Lund was unable to make up the time on the 15-corners of the course. 


“I had a disappointing first run, so I was going all out or nothing,” said Lund.  “I put everything on the line and went as hard as I could, but I got a little sloppy and off balance.  I stepped on the sled, and fell head first onto the ice.  It was a doozy.  It knocked the breath out of me, and before I knew it I was in corner three.”


Lund pushed a start time of 5.91, reflective of his fall, and crossed the finish in 55.50 seconds. Sliding a two-run total of 1:49.28, Lund finished 20th. 


“I tried to focus, and even though I knew the race was over, I wanted to do my best down the track,” said Lund.  “It doesn’t matter if you’re first or last, you’re always giving everything you have.  Sometimes it doesn’t go your way, but that’s a part of racing.”


“I think I made the highlight reel with that one,” said Lund with a laugh.


U.S. slider Kyle Tress (Trenton, N.J.) made his World Cup debut today, and finished 19th with a combined time of 1:48.42.  Tress pushed start times of 5.04 and 5.08 for runs of 54.18 and 54.24, respectively. 


“It feels awesome being here, and this is the best opportunity of my life,” said Tress.  “I actually had a hard time getting race nerves today, and it was just a cool experience to be on the line and to see the cameras and all of the coaches.  My goal was to make the cut for the second run, and the team support here is incredible.  I’ve learned a lot from Zach, Eric and the coaching staff, so I’m looking forward to learning even more next week in Cesana.”


Complete results can be found by visiting the web site for the Federation Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing at  For additional information, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at (518) 523-1842, ext. 106, or 



1. Frank Rommel (GER) 1:46.01 (52.98, 53.03); 2. Alexander Tretiakov (RUS) 1:46.26 (52.93, 53.33); 3. Martins Dukurs (LAT) 1:46.38 (53.07, 53.31);…11. Eric Bernotas (USA) 1:47.06 (53.57, 53.56);…19. Kyle Tress (USA) 1:48.42 (54.18, 54.24); 20. Zach Lund (USA) 1:49.28 (53.78, 55.50);



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The United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. The USBSF would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: Allianz Life, Vilter Manufacturing, KBC Helmets, Luminox Watch Company and ULU Boots. The USBSF would also like to thank the following sponsors and suppliers for their partner, the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project:  Whelen Engineering, PPG, Columbia Sportswear, JEGS Automotive, Lucas Oil, Mac Tools, EXA, Lumber Liquidators, Lincoln Electronics and Racing Electronics.  For more information, please visit the USBSF website at