Second Heat Canceled in Men's Skeleton World Championships

Feb. 27, 2009, 5:34 p.m. (ET)

Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager

(518) 523-1842, ext 106,

For Immediate Release

February 27, 2009

Second Heat Canceled in Men's Skeleton World Championships

Lake Placid, N.Y.- A steady rain fell during the first day of men's skeleton World Championships in Lake Placid, N.Y. today.  Thirty-one sleds navigated the slippery course, and the jury decided to cancel the second run due to deteriorating track conditions, turning the men's skeleton World Championships into a three-heat competition. 

Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wisc.) will enter tomorrow's final two heats as the top U.S. slider in sixth position.  Antoine pushed a start time of 5.05 for a run of 56.45 seconds.

"There's nothing you can do when the weather is like this," said Antoine.  "It's unfortunate because you spend all season training for this, and then your results are effected by the weather.  It should be better tomorrow."

Temperatures are expected to drop into the single digits tonight, which is optimal for consistent ice conditions.

Gregor Staehli from Switzerland is in the lead after pushing a start time of 5.00 for a run of 56.16 seconds.  Canadian Jon Montgomery is close behind in second with a time of 56.19 seconds, and the "Russian Rocket," Alexander Tretiakov, is third with a time of 56.25 seconds. 

Eric Bernotas (Avondale, Pa.) is sitting in eighth position after pushing a time of 5.12 for a run of 56.60 seconds. 

"You have to make the most of it," said Bernotas.  "You don't have control over the weather and you don't have control over the jury's decisions."

In 11th position is Zach Lund (Salt Lake City, Utah), who pushed a start time of 5.19 for a first run of 56.78 seconds. 

"I made a mistake in the first run that cost me a bit," said Lund.  "The track was unpredictable with the rain, but we'll see what happens tomorrow.  There are still two runs to go."

A steady warm rain picked up after the first heat, and each athlete lost an increased amount of time as the second run continued.  The jury decided to cancel the second run after Staehli crossed the line, having fallen back a few positions.

"Wring him out," Bernotas joked as Staehli walked up to the finish after his run. 

During an interview following the second heat, Jeff Pain from Canada commented that they needed snorkels to navigate the course today.

The men's skeleton competition will continue tomorrow at 1 pm EST.

Complete results can be found by visiting the web site for the Federation Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing at  For additional information, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at (518) 523-1842, ext. 106, or


1. Gregor Staehli (SUI) 56.16; 2. Jon Montgomery (CAN) 56.19; 3. Alexander Tretiakov (RUS) 56.25;...6. Matt Antoine (USA) 56.45;...8. Eric Bernotas (USA) 56.60;...11. Zach Lund (USA) 56.78;

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