Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager
(518) 523-1842, ext 106, email@example.com
For Immediate Release
February 13, 2009
Schaaf Threatens Podium in Women’s Bobsled World Cup Finale
PARK CITY, Utah– Bree Schaaf (Bremerton, Wash.) competed in only her second World Cup competition today as a bobsled pilot on the 2002 Olympic track in Park City, Utah. Schaaf teamed with Emily Azevedo (Chico, Calif.) to finish fifth, just inches from the podium.
“I’m really excited, because I’ve locked down my World Championship spot,” said Schaaf. “This has been an exhausting week, but now I get to return to my home track in Lake Placid where I learned how to slide, and compete against the best athletes in the world. It’s going to be so much fun and I couldn’t ask for a better situation.”
The 2009 World Championships will be held in Lake Placid, N.Y., with the women’s bobsled competition taking place on February 20 – 21.
Schaaf began the sliding sports as a skeleton athlete in 2002, and made the switch to bobsled in 2007.
“Competing in bobsled is great, because you get to slide with a teammate,” said Schaaf. “Plus it’s an unbeatable situation with the support staff, the fantastic coaching, and the Bo-Dyn sleds.”
Schaaf and Azevedo were named 2009 U.S. National Champions last month to earn a spot on the World Cup team, and slid a sixth place result on the 2010 Olympic course in Whistler last week. The pair teamed together again today to finish fifth with a combined time of one minute, 39.44 seconds.
Schaaf and Azevedo pushed a start time of 5.39 seconds for the seventh best time of the first heat, 49.76. The U.S. team improved with a 5.35 start time in the second heat for a run of 49.68, moving the team up two positions.
“I looked at Emily when we got in the leader’s box after the second run and said, ‘Hey, let’s get comfortable and hang out here for a while,’” said Schaaf with a laugh. “I finally put it together. I was having some trouble this week in training between corners one and two, which sounds ridiculous, but I was able to make the corrections for the race today.”
Cathleen Martini and Janine Tischer from Germany were victorious with a combined time of 1:38.66 after leading the field in both heats, sliding runs of 49.28 and 49.38. Martini finished the World Cup season ranked second with 1,599 points.
Canadians Kaillie Humphries and Shelly-Ann Brown claimed silver after crossing the finish line in 49.30 and 49.54 seconds for a total time of 1:38.84. The Canadian duo burst off the starting block with the fastest start times of the day, a 5.28 and 5.29.
Sandra Kiriasis moved up three positions to finish with the bronze medal with teammate Patricia Polifka. The German team pushed start times of 5.51 and 5.36 for identical finish times of 49.67, placing the duo in third with a two-run total of 1:39.34. Kiriasis successfully defended her World Cup title, claiming the 2009 crown with 1,679 points.
Nicola Minichiello from Great Britain finished the year ranked third in World Cup standings with 1,434 points. Shauna Rohbock(Park City, Utah) and Erin Pac (Farmington, Conn.) returned to Lake Placid following the competition in Whistler last week for additional training on the World Championship course, and missed today’s race. Despite missing a World Cup race, Rohbock finished the season ranked fourth with 1,380 points, and Pac finished ninth with 1,248 points.
Phoebe Burns (Lake Placid, N.Y.) finished 13th in her World Cup debut today with push athlete Jamie Greubel (Newtown, Pa.). The U.S. team slid a total time of 1:40.61 after sliding runs of 49.94 and 50.67 seconds. Burns is currently ranked third on the America’s Cup tour with only one stop on the circuit remaining.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Cathleen Martini and Janine Tischer (GER) 1:38.66 (49.28, 49.38); 2. Kaillie Humphries and Shelly-Ann Brown (CAN) 1:38.84 (49.30, 49.54); 3. Sandra Kiriasis and Patricia Polifka (GER) 1:39.34 (49.67, 49.67);…5. Bree Schaaf and Emily Azevedo (USA) 1:39.44 (49.76, 49.68);…13. Phoebe Burns and Jamie Greubel (USA) 1:40.61 (49.94, 50.67);
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.