Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager
(518) 523-1842, ext 106, email@example.com
For Immediate Release
February 20, 2009
Rohbock in Women’s Bobsled World Championship Lead
Lake Placid, N.Y.– Shauna Rohbock (Park City, Utah) is in the women’s bobsled World Championship lead after the first two heats of competition at the Olympic Sports Complex in Lake Placid, N.Y. today. Rohbock and push athlete Elana Meyers (Douglasville, Ga.) enter tomorrow’s final two heats four-hundredths of a second ahead in a field of 20 sleds. All three U.S. sleds entered into the competition are sitting in the top ten standings.
“More than anything I want to win a medal for this country,” said Rohbock. “I’m definitely going to bring it tomorrow. I’m a competitor, and I’ll do what I need to do out here.”
Members of the Army National Guard traveled to Lake Placid to cheer for Rohbock, who joined the Utah National Guard in 2000, and is currently a member of the National Guard Outstanding Athlete Program.
“The National Guard has been a third person in the sled with me,” said Rohbock. “They’ve been so supportive and behind me all the way through my career. I couldn’t be more grateful to them.”
Team Rohbock finished the first two heats with a combined time of one minute, 54.05 seconds after crossing the finish line in 57.00 and 57.05 seconds. Rohbock and Meyers teamed together for the third fastest push time of the first heat, 5.68, and tied USA II for the fastest start time of the second heat, 5.61.
Rohbock has teamed with both Meyers and her 2006 Olympic silver medalist teammate Valerie Fleming throughout the 2008-09 season as the U.S. program continues to expand. Most recently, Rohbock and Meyers claimed gold on the 2010 Olympic track in Whistler, British Columbia. Coaches made the difficult choice to place Meyers in Rohbock’s sled for World Championships.
“Valerie has been right there with me through the years,” said Rohbock. “Elana has done a really great job, but Valerie was my teammate for over 30 straight races over the past few years. I was hoping we’d race together in World Championships.”
Erin Pac (Farmington, Conn.) and teammate Michelle Rzepka (Novi, Mich.) enter tomorrow’s final two heats tied for fourth with a combined time of 1:54.28, just eight-hundredths of a second from the World Championship medals.
“This race is about being consistent over four heats,” said Pac. “Anything can happen tomorrow, and we need to be positive and focus on putting together another two runs. We’re in the mix, so we’ll see how things go tomorrow.”
Pac and Rzepka claimed their first World Cup medal, a bronze, two weeks ago in Whistler. The U.S. pair dominated at the start, bursting off the block with the two fastest pushes times of the day, 5.63 and 5.61 seconds.
“I feel great about our push times,” said Pac. “I think we can be even faster tomorrow, and I’ll be ready to give my best for the last two runs of the season.”
Bree Schaaf (Bremerton, Wash.) and Emily Azevedo (Chico, Calif.) are sitting in tenth with a total time of 1:55.18 after sliding runs of 57.62 and 57.56 seconds.
Schaaf’s hand slipped off the push bar at the start in the first run, and the team pushed a time of 5.76 seconds as a result.
“I got really excited and wasn’t focused,” said Schaaf. “That slip cost us a tenth of a second at the start. I made Emily look bad.”
Azevedo and Schaaf room together, and Azevedo joked that she might kick Schaaf out for the night as a consequence. Eager to improve, the team pushed a start time of 5.68 in the second heat.
“I had to make up for it on the second run so that I wouldn’t have to move out of the room,” said Schaaf while laughing. “There are two heats to go, and I’m determined to climb up.”
For photos of the U.S. women competing in World Championships, visit the web site of photographer Todd Bissonette atwww.usabobsledphotos.com.
Complete results can be found by visiting the web site for the Federation Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing atwww.fibt.com. For additional information, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at (518) 523-1842, ext. 106, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Shauna Rohbock and Elana Meyers (USA) 1:54.05 (57.00, 57.05); 2. Nicola Minichiello and Gillian Cooke (GBR) 1:54.09 (56.98, 57.11); 3. Cathleen Martini and Janine Tischer (GER) 1:54.20 (57.05, 57.15);…5. Erin Pac and Michelle Rzepka (USA) 1:54.28 (57.09, 57.19);…10. Bree Schaaf and Emily Azevedo (USA) 1:55.18 (57.62, 57.56);
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.