IGLS, Austria- John Napier (Lake Placid, N.Y.) piloted his USA I team to a 12th place finish in the four-man bobsled Junior World Championships in Igls, Austria today. The young athlete began driving bobsleds in the Olympic Regional Development Authority's Junior Bobsled program in Lake Placid, N.Y. in 1994 when he was only eight years old. With 14 years of experience gripping the D-rings, Napier made a statement on the World Cup circuit this season with two eighth-place four-man results early in the year. Napier teamed with a first-year squad of push athletes for the 12th fastest start times of the competition. Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas), Jacob Miller (Waterford, Va.) and Chris Fogt (Apline, Utah) helped push the 860-pound sled off the block with times of 5.29 and 5.32 in the two-heat race. Napier and crew slid to the finish with a combined time of 1:45.36 after runs of 52.61 and 52.75, missing the top ten by 0.12 seconds. Dmitry Abramovitch from Russia claimed the four-man bobsled Junior World Championship title with his crew of Roman Oreshnikov, Dmitry Trunenkov and Peter Molseev. Abramovitch piloted his sled to the title with the two fastest runs of the competition, a 51.63 and 51.76, for a total time of 1:43.39. Germany's Maximillian Arndt finished second with a two-run total of 1:43.81 after sliding runs of 51.82 and 51.99. Arndt's crew of Rene Tiefert, Alexander Roediger and Robert Schoenborn tied the Russians for the fastest start time of the day of 5.10 seconds. In third was Manuel Machata, also from Germany, with his four-man team of Richard Adjei-Otto, Michall Makarow and Florian Becke. The squad claimed bronze after moving up two positions in the second run, finishing with a combined time of 1:43.98 (52.03, 51.95). Napier's final stop this season will be in Altenberg, Germany for the World Championships. Watch as Napier battles it out for the World title with fellow U.S. drivers Steven Holcomb and Mike Kohn on NBCOlympics.com. For complete results of today's race, visit www.bobsleigh.com, the Web site of the Federation International de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganning (FIBT). Results: 1. Abramovitch, Oreshnikov, Trunenkov and Moiseev (RUS I) 1:43.39 (51.63, 51.76); 2. Arndt, Tiefert, Roediger and Schienborn (GER III) 1:43.81 (51.82, 51.99); 3. Machata, Adjei-Otto, Makarow and Becke (GER I) 1:43.98 (52.03, 51.95);_12. Napier, Olsen, Miller and Fogt (USA I) 1:45.36 (52.61, 52.75); About the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation'
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, Columbia Sportswear Company, Speedo, CW-X, KBC Helmets, ULU Boots, Racing Electronics, Schenker Logistics, Lumber Liquidators and Whelen Engineering. For more information, please visit the USBSF Web site at www.usbsf.com.