ALTENBERG, Germany-The 2007-2008 women's bobsled season concluded today at the World Championships in Altenberg, Germany, where the U.S placed two sleds in the top ten. Thousands of fans were on hand to cheer on the teams with noisemakers and banners as the women slid their final runs of the year on one of the world's most notoriously difficult tracks. Training this week saw more than a dozen crashes as the women prepared for competition. Shauna Rohbock (Orem, Utah) and Valerie Fleming (Foster City, Calif.) entered today's final heats in medal contention in fourth position. The duo maintained their position in the third heat, pushing a 5.92 start time for a run of 57.73 seconds. Team USA I pushed off the block in the final heat with a start time of 5.92 seconds as an excited crowd cheered frantically. Split times clocked the Americans at speeds matching the Germans before a mistake in corner 13 caused the team to crash. The crowd gasped as the 2006 Olympic silver medalists, who were challenging a German sweep of the medals, rolled upside down."They were safe in fourth position, and they could have pushed and driven just enough to solidify the spot,"said Darrin Steele, USBSF CEO and two-time bobsled Olympian."They were definitely going for it in the final run, and when it comes down to it, you want a team that's going to put it all on the line for the medal, and they did that."Despite crashing, Rohbock and Fleming were able to finish in the top ten with a ninth place result. The sled crossed the line in 1:00.09, giving Rohbock and Fleming a four-run combined time of 3:54.07. Erin Pac (Farmington, Conn.) and Elana Meyers (Douglasville, Ga.) finished with an impressive seventh place result today with a four-run combined time of 3:53.72. The team confidently burst of the start with times of 5.83 and 5.85 for runs of 58.38 and 58.72, respectively."I was a little nervous coming to this track for the first time, and I crashed my first run down in training,"Pac said."Despite that, I really like this track. It's tricky, and this has been a great learning experience for me. I'm excited, because I wanted to be in the top ten, and I did that."As Pac reflected on her run, Canadians Kaillie Humphries and Shelly-Ann Brown broke the start record set by Pac as a push athlete with Rohbock in December 2004."I knew they were going to break our start record,"Pac said as she watched the Canadians on the television monitor."I'll just have to get it back next year."Kiriasis once again etched her name into women's bobsled history as World Champion. The reigning Olympic and World Cup Champion continued her dominance by claiming the World Championship title today by 0.26 seconds. Kiraisis and Romy Logsch had to fight for their title in the fourth heat after finishing just 0.05 seconds from their teammates Cathleen Martini and Janine Tischer in today's first heat. Kiriasis and Logsch slid a run of 57.36, while Martini and Tischer slid a time of 57.33 to edge closer to the trophy. Kiriasis responded in the final heat with a time of 57.08, fastest of the entire competition, to capture her title with a combined time of 3:49.50. Martini finished second with a total of 3:49.76 after sliding a final run of 57.29. Completing the German sweep of the World Championship podium was Caludia Schraumm and brakewoman Nicole Herschmann after runs of 57.58 and 57.73 for a four-run total time of 3:50.82. Jamia Jackson (Lake City, Fla.) and Mickie Rzepka (Novi, Mich.) made their World Championship debut in Altenberg, finishing 13th with a combined time of 3:55.21. Team USA III pushed times of 6.05 and 6.06 for runs of 58.73 and 58.78, respectively."I was really excited coming into World Championships,"Jackson said."I was a little off on the first day, so I dug myself into a hole. But yesterday is yesterday, today is today, and I told myself to go for it and did the best I could."World Championship action continues tomorrow, Sunday, Feb. 17, as the men battle it out for the two-man title. For complete results of today's race, please visit www.bobsleigh.com, the Web site of the Federation International de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganning (FIBT). Results: 1. Sandra Kiriasis and Romy Logsch (GER I) 3:49.50 (57.37, 57.69, 57.36, 57.08); 2. Cathleen Martini and Janine Tischer (GER II) 3:49.76 (57.44, 57.70, 57.33, 57.29); 3. Claudia Schramm and Nicole Herschmann (GER III) 3:50.82 (57.67, 57.84, 57.58, 57.73); _7. Erin Pac and Elana Meyers 3:53.72 (USA II) (58.22, 58.35, 58.38, 58.77);_ 9. Shauna Rohbock and Valerie Fleming (USA I) 3:54.07 (57.93, 58.08, 57.97, 1:00.09); 13. Jamia Jackson and Mickie Rzepka (USA III) 3:55.21 (58.98, 58.72, 58.73, 58.73, 58.78); 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.