Hays Ninth in Königssee’s Four-man Bobsled World Cup

Jan. 11, 2009, 7:13 a.m. (ET)

Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager

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


For Immediate Release

January 11, 2009


Hays Ninth in Königssee’s Four-man Bobsled World Cup


KÖNIGSSEE, Germany–The men’s bobsled World Cup circuit continued in Königssee, Germany today with the four-man competition, whereTodd Hays (Del Rio, Texas) led his crew to a ninth place result with a combined time of one minute, 38.33 seconds. 


“Königssee is a short track, so it brings the field closer in times,” said Sepp Plozza, U.S. team head coach.  “Only a couple of hundredths of a second could mean the difference between first and tenth, which is crazy to see.”


Hays teamed with TJ Burns (Blue Bell, Pa.), Bill Schuffenhauer (Ogden, Utah) and Alex Sprague (Indianapolis, Ind.) for a push time of 4.93 and a run of 49.16 seconds in the first heat.


“Todd was eleventh off the start today, which was a disadvantage because the track slowed down after the first few sleds,” said Plozza.


Team Hays put together a consistent second run, pushing a 4.90 for a run of 49.17 seconds, placing the team in ninth.  The top four sleds were separated by only one-tenth of a second, and the top ten sleds were within five-tenths of a second from each other.  


“Todd fixed the little mistakes he made in the first heat and had a good second run,” said Plozza.  “The field is coming closer and closer together, making it more difficult to make up any mistakes.”


Germany’s Karl Angerer took the lead with his team of Andreas Udvari, Alex Mann and Gregor Bermbach, winning by only 0.09 seconds with a total time of 1:37.84.  Angerer drove his team to the finish line in 48.96 and 48.88 seconds for the gold.


Edwin Van Calker from the Netherlands has been slowly climbing towards the podium each race since he began driving in 2001, and claimed his first-ever World Cup medal today.  Teamed with Arnold Van Calker, Jansma Sybren and Arnold Klassen, team Netherlands coasted to the finish with a combined time of 1:37.93 for the silver medal.  Van Calker’s team pushed start times of 4.89 and 4.86 for runs of 48.91 and 49.02 seconds.


Reigning Olympic and World Cup champion Andre Lange couldn’t maintain his lead on the short course after the first heat, tying for third with Janis Minins from Latvia with a two-run total of 1:37.94.  Lange and his crew of Rene Hoppe, Alexander Roediger, Martin Putze pushed the fastest start times of the competition, a 4.83 and 4.84, for runs of 48.78 and 49.16.  Minins and Daumants Dreiskens, Oskars Melbardis and Intars Dambis slid runs of 48.83 and 49.11 to tie the Germans for the bronze. 


The teams are packing crates and moving on to the final European stop of the World Cup tour in St. Moritz, Switzerland.  Visit www.UniversalSports.com to cheer on your team with video on demand. 


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, orabird@usbsf.com. 



1. Angerer, Udvari, Mann and Bermbach (GER) 1:37.84 (48.96, 48.88); 2. Van Calker, Van Calker, Jansma and Kla (NED) 1:37.93 (48.91, 49.02); 3. Lange, Hoppe, Roediger and Putze (GER) 1:37.94 (48.78, 49.16); 3. Minins, Dreiskens, Lembardis and Dambis (LAT) 1:37.94 (48.83, 49.11)…9. Hays, Burns, Sprague and Schuffenhauer (USA) 1:38.33 (49.16, 49.17);


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 athttp://bobsled.teamusa.org.