USA Bobsled and Skeleton

Feb 14 Holcomb Claims Gold and Napier within Medal Reach in Four-man Bobsled Finale

Feb. 14, 2009, 8:32 p.m. (ET)

Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager

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

 

For Immediate Release

February 14, 2009

 

Holcomb Claims Gold and Napier within Medal Reach in Four-man Bobsled Finale

 

PARK CITY, Utah–The U.S. men’s bobsled team placed two sleds into the top six standings in today’s four-man bobsled World Cup competition.  Twenty-five sleds navigated the 2002 Olympic course in Park City, Utah in the 2008-09 World Cup season finale, where U.S. pilot Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) claimed his second-consecutive gold medal, and John Napier (Lake Placid, N.Y.) finished with his best World Cup result in fifth. 

 

“This was a great day for our team,” said Brian Shimer, U.S. men’s bobsled head coach and 2002 Olympic bronze medalist. “Holcomb won double gold in his hometown, and Napier was in the mix and close to getting his first World Cup medal.  This was a terrific way to end the World Cup season, and now we’re looking ahead to World Championships next week.”

 

Holcomb carried momentum from his win yesterday to claim gold again in front of a hometown crowd.  Holcomb and his team ofJustin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas), Steve Mesler (Buffalo, N.Y.) and Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.) slid to the finish with a combined time of one minute, 34.80 seconds to defeat a competitive field of athletes by a margin of 0.55 seconds. 

 

Team Holcomb combined forces for push times of 4.88 and 4.86, first and second fastest of the competition, respectively.  Holcomb steered his Bo-Dyn sled, named the “Night Train,” to the finish in 47.60 and 47.20 seconds to dominate the competition. 

 

Despite missing two races this season, Holcomb finished the year ranked fourth in four-man World Cup ranking with 1,238 points. 

 

Holcomb was unavailable for comment as the teams packed sleds for transportation to Lake Placid, N.Y., where the 2009 World Championships will take place from February 17-March 1. 

 

Janis Minins from Latvia teamed with Daumants Dreiskens, Oskars Melbardis and Intars Dambis for the silver medal after sliding runs of 47.89 and 47.46 for a total time of 1:35.35.  In third was Alexsandr Zubkov, Roman Oreshnikov, Dmitry Trunenkov and Dmitry Stepushkin from Russia with a two-run total of 1:35.57 (48.04, 47.53). 

 

Zubkov was named four-man World Cup champion today with 1,646 points, with Minins in second with 1,549 points.  Reigning Olympic Champion Andre Lange from Germany capped the season third in four-man rank with 1,251 points. 

 

John Napier (Lake Placid, N.Y.), only 22 years old, shocked the international field by finishing fifth, just seven-hundredths of a second from the podium, with a combined time of 1:35.64.  Napier won the four-man U.S. National Championship title with his team of Jamie Moriarty (Winnetka, Ill.), Jesse Beckom (Chicago, Ill.) and Cory Butner (Yucaipa, Calif.) in Lake Placid last month to earn his position on the World Cup team, and proved today that he will be a threat for the crown in the upcoming World Championships. 

 

“I’m really excited,” said Napier.  “I just had my best World Cup finish ever, and now we’re going to World Championships on my home track, where I think I’ll have an even better shot at doing well.  I hope I can carry this momentum into next week.”

 

Regardless of being the 22nd sled to start in today’s competition, team Napier pushed a start time of 4.93 before shocking the field with the third fastest run of the first heat, 47.95 seconds.  Team USA III pushed a consistent 4.95 in the second heat for a run of 47.69 seconds, placing Napier in fifth. 

 

“I’m really happy with the way things are going,” said Napier.  “We’re working well as a team and everything just feels so surreal right now.”

 

Napier began driving bobsleds in 1994 in Lake Placid when he was only 8 years old, following the footsteps of his father, Bill Napier, who competed on the team for 20 years. 

 

Mike Kohn (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) and his crew of Jim Carriel (Park City, Utah), Jacob Miller (Waterford, Va.) and Hoy Thurman(Warner Robins, Ga.) finished 22nd after pushing a start time of 5.08 for a first run time of 48.53 seconds. 

 

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. Holcomb, Olsen, Mesler and Tomasevicz (USA) 1:34.80 (47.60, 47.20); 2. Minins, Dreisken, Melbardi and Dambi (LAT) 1:35.35 (47.89, 47.46); 3. Zubkov, Oreshnikov, Trunenkov and Stepushkin (RUS) 1:35.57 (48.04, 47.53);…5. Napier, Moriarty, Beckom and Butner (USA) 1:35.64 (47.95, 47,69);…22. Kohn, Carriel, Miller and Thurman (USA) (48.53, DNS);

 

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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