Holcomb Leads Four-man Bobsled World Championships

Feb. 28, 2009, 1:17 p.m. (ET)


Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager

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


For Immediate Release

February 28, 2009

Holcomb Leads Four-man Bobsled World Championships 


Lake Placid, N.Y.– U.S. pilot Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) currently holds the World Championship lead in the men’s four-man bobsled competition in Lake Placid, N.Y. Team Holcomb has a lead of 0.48 seconds over a field of 22 sleds, and all three U.S. sleds entered into the race currently sit in the top ten standings. 


“I’m taking it one day at a time, one run at a time,” said Holcomb.  “I’m looking at it as two separate races.  I won today, and now I need to win again tomorrow.”


Holcomb teamed with his USA I crew of Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas), Steve Mesler (Buffalo, N.Y.) and Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.) for push times of 5.05 and 5.00 seconds, third and second fastest of the day.


“The sled is fast, the runners are fast, and the guys had two phenomenal pushes which put us way ahead at the beginning of the trip,” said Holcomb.  “It takes the pressure off me knowing we’re already ahead.”


Holcomb drove his BoDyn sled, the Night Train, into the lead with runs of 54.02 and 54.51 seconds for a first day total time of one minute, 48.53 seconds. 


When asked if he was surprised about having such a large lead over the field, Holcomb smiled and joked with the media: “Of course not.  I’m surprised I’m not further ahead.”


Tied for second with a total time of 1:49.01 are Alexsandr Zubkov from Russia and Janis Minins from Latvia.  Zubkov teamed with Roman Oreshnikov, Dmitry Trunenkov and Dmitry Stepushkin for identical push times of 5.03 and runs of 54.33 and 54.68.  Minins teamed with Daumants Dreiskens, Oskars Melbardis and Intars Melbardis for starts of 5.13 and 5.06 and runs of 54.39 and 54.62.


Sitting just one-hundredth of a second from Zubkov and Minins is reining Olympic champion Andre Lange from Germany with a two-run total of 1:49.02.  Lange and his crew of Alexander Roediger, Kevin Kuske and Martin Putze slid to the finish in 54.41 and 54.61 seconds. 


“Trust me, I know that Zubkov is going to do everything he can to win,” said Holcomb.  “So are Minins and Lange.  Anything can happen."


Currently in eighth is the U.S. sled driven by Todd Hays (Del Rio, Texas) with a two-run total of 1:49.76 after sliding to the finish in 54.80 and 54.96 seconds. 


“My goal this year is to try to get my legs under me and gets my hands back for next year,” said Hays.


Hays teamed with T.J. Burns (Blue Bell, Pa.), Alex Sprague (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Bill Schuffenhauer (Ogden, Utah) for matching push times in both heats of 5.15 seconds. 


“We’ve had some injuries on the team and we’re a little back at the start,” said Hays.  “We’re sitting in the top ten right now, and I feel pretty decent about that.”


Young U.S. pilot John Napier (Lake Placid, N.Y.) and his push squad of Jesse Beckom (Chicago, Ill.), Jamie Moriarty (Winnetka, Ill.) and Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.) enter tomorrow’s final heats in tenth position with a total time of 1:50.07. 


“I’m happy,” said Napier.  “My team pushed really well, and I had a decent first run.  I had a lot of mistakes in the second run, but hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to put down two consistent trips so we can move up even more.”


Team Napier pushed times of 5.18 and 5.19 for runs of 54.94 and 55.13 seconds, respectively. 


The final two heats of the four-man bobsled World Championships will take place tomorrow, Sunday, March 1st at 9 am EST.  Visit www.UniversalSports.com to watch the Night Train vie for the title LIVE. 

For photos of the U.S. men in action, visit the web site of photographer Todd Bissonette at www.usabobsledphotos.com.


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



1. Holcomb, Olsen, Mesler and Tomasevicz (USA) 1:48.53 (54.02, 54.51); 2. Zubkov, Oreshnikov, Trunenkov and Stepushkin (RUS) 1:49.01 (54.33, 54.68); 2. Minins, Dreiskens, Melbardis and Dambis (LAT) 1:49.01 (54.39, 54.62);...8. Hays, Burns, Sprague and Schuffenhauer (USA) 1:49.76 (54.80, 54.96);...10. Napier, Beckom, Moriarty and Cunningham (USA) 1:50.07 (54.94, 55.13);


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.