USA Bobsled and Skeleton

Three U.S. Sleds in Men’s Skeleton Top Ten

Feb. 28, 2009, 5:37 p.m. (ET)

Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager

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

 

For Immediate Release

February 28, 2009

 

Three U.S. Sleds in Men’s Skeleton Top Ten

 

Lake Placid, N.Y.– All three of the U.S. athletes entered into the men’s skeleton World Championships finished in the top ten standings today at the Olympic Sports Complex in Lake Placid, N.Y.  Eric Bernotas (Avondale, Pa.) capped his season as the top U.S. finisher in seventh. 

 

“I didn’t know what to expect, but I try not to have expectations,” said Bernotas.  “I try to just do my job, because anything can happen.”

 

The men’s skeleton World Championships was shortened to a three-heat competition after the jury decided to cancel yesterday’s second heat due to inclement weather conditions.  Bernotas finished with a three-run total of two minutes, 47.34 seconds to finish seventh.

 

Bernotas pushed start times of 5.17 and 5.13 for runs of 55.54 and 55.20, respectively, in today’s final heats. 

 

“I slide this track comfortably,” said Bernotas.  “I had some mistakes today.  They weren’t huge, but enough to not make up a deficit from yesterday.”

 

Switzerland’s Gregor Staehli celebrated his birthday by wearing the World Championship crown, claiming the title by 0.35 seconds over the field with a combined time of 2:46.58.  The 41 year old pushed start times of 5.10 and 4.97 for runs of 55.33 and 55.09.

 

“I am a little bit old,” said Staehli while laughing as he changed his shoes at the finish.  “It would be better to have 21st birthday, but it’s OK.  I have thought many times retiring, and also did three times and came back.  I hope to be in Whistler, and today was good.”

 

Adam Pengilly from Great Britain shocked the field by moving up from 15th position after yesterday’s single heat to claim the silver medal with a total time of 2:46.93.  Pengilly slid runs of 55.23 and 54.78, second and first fastest of the day, to finish on the podium. 

 

Pengilly made a similar climb in rank yesterday, standing in the leader’s box as he surpassed 14 sleds before the jury decided to cancel the second heat.

 

“I was disappointed,” said Pengilly.  “I’ve got a medal, so I’ve got to be happy.  It was tough this morning to get up and race, my motivation was a bit down.”

 

In third was Alexander Tretiakov from Russia, who dominated at the start with the fastest push times of the competition, 4.89 and 4.84 seconds.  Tretiakov slid runs of 55.23 and 55.61 today for a total time of 2:47.09 to claim bronze. 

 

Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wisc.) finished his first World Championships with a ninth place finish.  Antoine competed in only his second World Cup event on the 2010 Olympic track in Whistler, British Columbia three weeks ago to claim bronze, and finished with a strong result today with a combined time of 2:47.45. 

 

“I got a lot of experience and I feel like I have proved a lot as a slider this year,” said Antoine.  “This was my first year on World Cup and I’m happy I put down the results that I did.”

 

Antoine pushed identical start times of 5.14 for runs of 55.43 and 55.57 seconds. 

 

Zach Lund (Salt Lake City, Utah) crossed the finish line with a combined time of 2:47.62 for tenth place after sliding runs of 55.40 and 55.44.  The 2007 World Cup champion looked relieved to conclude the 2008-09 season, which he refers to as a “nightmare season.”

 

“This was a tough year,” said Lund.  “I need to learn from it and move on.  There’s nothing I can do now except to put it behind me and do everything I can to put myself back in a position for next season to do well.”

 

For photos of the men’s skeleton event, please 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. 

 

Results:

1. Gregor Staehli (SUI) 2:46.58 (56.16, 55.33, 55.09); 2. Adam Pengilly (GBR) 2:46.93 (56.92, 55.23, 54.78); 3. Alexander Tretiakov (RUS) 2:47.09 (56.25, 55.23, 55.61);…7. Eric Bernotas (USA) 2:47.34 (56.60, 55.54, 55.20);…9. Matt Antoine (USA) 2:47.45 (56.45, 55.43, 55.57); 10. Zach Lund (USA) 2:47.62 (56.78, 55.40, 55.44);

 

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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