U.S. Men’s Skeleton World Cup Season Concludes

Feb. 12, 2009, 3:12 p.m. (ET)

Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager

(518) 523-1842, ext 106, abird@usbsf.com

 

For Immediate Release

February 12, 2009

 

U.S. Men’s Skeleton World Cup Season Concludes

 

PARK CITY, Utah–The 2008-09 skeleton World Cup circuit wrapped up today at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah.  The U.S. men had a strong showing with Zach Lund (Salt Lake City, Utah) in fourth, Eric Bernotas (Avondale, Pa.) in fifth, and Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wisc.) in seventh in another highly contested competition decided by mere hundredths of a second. 

 

“This was a nightmare of a season for me,” said Lund.  “I see it as a learning opportunity and a chance to make myself better, and I realize how hard I need to work for next year mentally and physically.  I spent three years at the top of my game and I got my butt kicked this year. It certainly put me in my place.”

 

The U.S. men’s skeleton team secured their first medal this season just last week and has begun to pick up momentum leading into World Championships in Lake Placid, N.Y. this month.  Lund claimed the 2007 World Cup title, and finished last season ranked third in World Cup points, but has struggled this year. 

 

Lund finished fourth today, two-hundredths from the medals, with a combined time of one minute, 39.58 seconds after sliding runs of 49.77 and 49.81.  The U.S. veteran finished 13th yesterday, but was able to make modifications to his bent sled overnight. 

 

“My sled was chopped into pieces last night and welded back together again,” said Lund.  “I got it straightened out, but it was very stiff to drive. It was running straight, but not where it needs to be yet.”

 

Alexander Tretiakov, repeated his gold medal performance with a total time of 1:39.33 after crossing the finish in 49.66 and 49.67 seconds.  Tretiakov led the field from start to finish with the fastest start times of the competition, 4.59 and 4.57 seconds.  The “Russian Rocket” secured the overall World Cup title with 1,526 points after claiming five medals this season. 

 

Germany’s Florian Grassl and Frank Rommel claimed silver and bronze, respectively.  Grassl slid runs of 49.83 and 49.57 for a combined time of 1:39.40, while Rommel crossed the finish with heats of 49.73 and 49.83 for a two-run total of 1:39.56. 

 

Grassl finished second in overall World Cup rank with 1,453 points, and Rommel capped the season in third position with 1,426 points. 

 

Just one-tenth of a second behind Lund was U.S. teammate Eric Bernotas in fifth with a total time of 1:39.68 after crossing the finish line in 49.83 and 49.85 seconds.  Bernotas claimed bronze yesterday, his first medal of the year.

 

“I feel like we’ve had two different seasons this year,” said Bernotas.  “We’ve traveled a tough road this season, and this week we finally saw some light.  I appreciate that journey, because I learned some valuable lessons, but it feels nice to get back to where we were and to begin to climb back towards the podium again.”

 

Bernotas said that being on a home track helped the U.S. team find their comfort zone, and is looking forward to competing in Lake Placid, where he was introduced to the sport of skeleton.

 

“In order to improve you need to go through some tough lessons,” said Bernotas.  “It was a reminder that we can’t take our success for granted, and this season has given our team the opportunity to hone in on our skills.  We started to make some gains, and I’m humbly confident that we can do well in Lake Placid for the World Championships.”

 

Matt Antoine continues to make an impression on a competitive international field, finishing seventh today with a two-run total of 1:39.91 after sliding runs of 49.94 and 49.97. 

 

“Today was a great team result,” said Antoine.  “Everyone feels like things are back on track, I think the three of us have the potential to sweep World Championships in Lake Placid.  We’ll see what we can do, but I know we’ll give our best.”

 

Antoine slid on the Intercontinental Cup tour the first half of the season before moving onto the World Cup tour.

 

“I had the chance to move up to the World Cup team in the second half of the season, and it’s been great,” said Antoine.  “I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I am really ecstatic with my results, and I’m looking forward to seeing what I can bring in the future.”

 

Bernotas finished the 2008-09 World Cup season ranked tenth with 1,160 points, and Lund finished 11th with 1,132 points.  Antoine finished 14th 832 points after competing in only five out of eight World Cup events this season. 

 

Complete results can be found by visiting the web site for the Federation Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing atwww.fibt.com. Watch today’s results on-demand by visiting www.UniversalSports.com. 

 

For additional information, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at (518) 523-1842, ext. 106, or abird@usbsf.com. 

 

Results:

1. Alexander Tretiakov (RUS) 1:39.33 (49.66, 49.67); 2. Florian Grassl (GER) 1:39.40 (49.83, 49.57); 3. Frank Rommel (GER) 1:39.56 (49.73, 49.83); 4. Zach Lund (USA) 1:39.58 (49.77, 49.81); 5. Eric Bernotas (USA) 1:39.68 (49.83, 49.85);…7. Matt Antoine (USA) 1:39.91 (49.94, 49.97);

 

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, Vilter Manufacturing, KBC Helmets, Luminox Watch Company, ULU Boots and Ferris Mfg. Corp. 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 http://bobsled.teamusa.org.

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