SKELETON: Antoine Claims Bronze in Skeleton Park City Intercontinental Cup; Sorensen Finishes Eighth
PARK CITY, Utah- Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wisc.) claimed bronze today in the Intercontinental Cup race at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah. Antoine battled a competitive field of sliders, climbing the podium beside two Canadians, 2006 Olympic silver medalist Jeff Pain and previous World Cup slider Kelly Forbes. Rebecca Sorensen (Fort Collins, Colo.) was the highest U.S. finisher in the women's race, finishing eighth, just 0.04 seconds from the top six."It's satisfying to see that I can compete with the top level guys,"Antoine said."It's reassuring of my abilities, and helps me to build confidence on the track."Antoine pushed the third fastest start of the first heat, a 4.77, and maintained his speed down the track with a time of 50.29 seconds."Park City has come around for me this past year, and I'm starting to feel stronger and stronger on this track,"Antoine said."I had my personal best push times today, so I'm very pleased with my performance."Pushing the second fastest time of the second heat, Antoine broke his personal best push time again with a 4.75 start. Antoine maintained his position while driving the 15-curve track, finishing the second run in 50.02 second to claim the bronze medal with a two-run combined time of 1:40.31. Pain, 2006 World Cup Champion and three-time World Championship medalist, dominated the competition with two first place runs of 49.75 and 49.86 for a combined time of 1:39.61. Canadian teammate Kelly Forbes finished 0.47 seconds behind for the silver medal after runs of 49.99 and 50.09 for a total time of 1:40.08. U.S. athlete Stokes Aitken (Salt Lake City, Utah) placed fourth today, 0.39 seconds behind teammate Antoine. Aitken slid consistent runs of 50.47 and 50.46 for a total time of 1:40.93. Continuing his domination at the start in the Intercontinental Cup circuit, Kyle Tress (Trenton, N.J.) pushed a 4.70 start time in both heats, fastest of the competition. Tress finished ninth in today's race with a combined time of 1:41.33 after runs of 50.53 and 50.80. Sorensen was the strongest U.S. slider in the women's field today, placing eighth. Pushing the third fastest start times of the competition, a 5.15 and 5.13, Sorensen slid runs of 51.90 and 51.96 for a combined time of 1:43.86. Canadian Lindsay Alcock, two-time Olympian and 2004 World Cup Champion, claimed gold with a combined time of 1:42.46 after sliding runs of 51.35 and 51.11. German sliders Katharina Heinz and Julia Eichhorn took silver and bronze, respectively. Heinz won her first Intercontinental Cup medal today after runs of 51.39 and 51.48 for a total time of 1:42.87. Eichhorn, 2003 Junior World Champion, finished just 0.06 seconds from her teammate for the bronze medal after heats of 51.52 and 51.41 for a combined time of 1:42.93. Jessica Palmer (Roy, Utah), 2007 U.S. Push , Load Champion, finished 11th in her first race of the 2007-08 competitive season. Palmer slid a two-run total time of 1:44.19 after runs of 51.95 and 52.24. 2007 U.S. National Champion Keslie Tomlinson (Potomac Falls, Va.) finished with a combined time of 1:44.51 after runs of 52.36 and 52.15 for a 12th place result. The Intercontinental Cup will continue next week in Calgary, Alberta from January 8-12, before the final competition of the circuit in Lake Placid, N.Y. January 22-25."I've never had a good result in Calgary, so I'm hoping it will come together for me next week,"Antoine said."I want at least one victory on the Intercontinental Cup this year, so I'm definitely looking forward to our last race in Lake Placid."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: Men's Skeleton 1. Jeff Pain (CAN) 1:39.61 (49.75, 49.86); 2. Kelly Forbes (CAN) 1:40.08 (49.99, 50.09); 3. Matt Antoine (USA) 1:40.31 (50.29, 50.02);_5. Stokes Aitken (USA) 1:40.93 (50.47, 50.46);_9. Kyle Tress (USA) 1:41.33 (50.53, 50.80); Women's Skeleton 1. Lindsay Alcock (CAN) 1:42.46 (51.35, 51.11); 2. Katharina Keinz (GER) 1:42.87 (51.39, 51.48); 3. Julia Eichhorn (GER) 1:42.93 (51.52, 51.41);_8. Rebecca Sorensen (USA) 1:43.86 (51.90, 51.96);_11. Jessica Palmer (USA) 1:44.19 (51.95, 52.24); 12. Keslie Tomlinson (USA) 1:44.51 (52.36, 52.15); 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.