CESANA, Italy–Annie O’Shea (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) and Caleb Smith (Lake Placid, N.Y.) improved their performances from yesterday’s competition, both finishing seventh in today’s skeleton Intercontinental Cup race in Cesana, Italy as the highest U.S. finishers.
“It was snowing harder today than it was yesterday,” said O’Shea. “I knew it was out of my control, and just focused on what I needed to do for my runs.”
O’Shea is one of the fastest athletes off the top of the hill, and powered off the starting block through the snow with a push time of 5.16 seconds for a first run of 1:00.86, sixth best of the heat. O’Shea pushed a 5.13 in the second run, crossing the finish in 1:01.40 to finish seventh with a two-run total of two minutes, 2.26 seconds.
“I was a little disappointed because I hate falling back, even if it’s only one spot,” said O’Shea. “My first run was the best run I’ve ever had on this track, and I think I really learned a lot about driving on this course. I’m excited that I’m improving, and that was my goal for this season.”
U.S. teammate Keslie Tomlinson (Potomac Falls, Va.) struggled with the tricky Olympic course in the first heat, crossing the finish with a first run time of 1:01.82. The 2008 U.S. National Champion entered the second heat in 17th position, and moved up eight places to place ninth with a combined time of 2:02.56 after crossing the finish with a second run time of 1:00.74, fifth fastest of the heat.
Canadian Amy Gough continued her medal streak, convincingly claiming her third consecutive gold medal with a combined time of 1:59.68. Gough had a one second lead over the women’s field after sliding to the finish in 1:00.02 and 59.66.
Carla Pavan from Canada moved up one position today to claim silver with a two-run total of 2:00.68 after sliding runs of 1:00.26 and 1:00.42. Kathleen Lorenz slid a bronze medal performance today after sliding identical runs of 1:00.54 for a total time of 2:01.08.
Kimber Gabryszak (Park City, Utah) finished 23rd after pushing a start time of 5.26 for a first run time of 1:02.40. International rules only grant the top 20 sleds a second run.
In the men’s field, Caleb Smith (Lake Placid, N.Y.) tied Adam Pengilly from Great Britain, who claimed silver yesterday, for seventh with a combined time of 1:57.50.
“The race was very tight after the first run, and I knew it would come down to the second run,” said Smith. “I was determined to execute one of the more difficult sections of the course without the mental lapses that have gotten me on other runs.”
Smith pushed identical push times of 5.02 seconds for runs of 58.90, ninth best of the first heat, and 58.60, fifth fastest of the second heat.
“I am thrilled with today,” said Smith. “I wish I had another day to race here to see what I could do with two great runs, but I'm very happy to have figured this track out. We performed better today as a team, and hopefully we can carry the momentum into Igls next week.”
The Intercontinental Cup circuit will move to Igls, Austria next week before concluding in Königssee, Germany.
Michael Douglas completed a Canadian sweep of the gold medals today, winning by only 0.08 seconds with a combined time of 1:56.47. Douglas slid runs of 58.08 and 58.39 for the win.
Germany’s Michi Halilovic finished second with a total time of 1:56.55 after crossing the finish in 58.07 and 58.48. Stefan Moerker from Switzerland claimed bronze after sliding runs of 58.17 and 58.45 for a two-run total of 1:56.62.
Stokes Aitken (Salt Lake City, Utah) pushed start times of 4.85 and 4.89 for runs of 58.99 and 59.69, respectively. Aitken finished 16th with a combined time of 1:58.68.
Kyle Tress (Trenton, N.J.) powered off the starting block with a push time of 4.81 seconds for a first run time of 1:00.32 to finish 21st.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Amy Gough (CAN) 1:59.68 (1:00.02, 59.66); 2. Carla Pavan (CAN) 2:00.68 (1:00.26, 1:00.42); 3. Kathleen Lorenz (GER) 2:01.08 (1:00.54, 1:00.54);…7. Annie O’Shea (USA) 2:02.26 (1:00.86, 1:01.40);…9. Keslie Tomlinson (USA) 2:02.56 (1:01.82, 1:00.74);…23. Kimber Gabryszak (USA) (1:02.40, DNS);
1. Michael Douglas (CAN) 1:56.47 (58.08, 58.39); 2. Michi Halilovic (GER) 1:56.55 (58.07, 58.48); 3. Stefan Moerker (SUI) 1:56.62 (58.17, 58.45);…7. Caleb Smith (USA) 1:57.50 (58.90, 58.60);…16. Stokes Aitken (USA) 1:58.68 (58.99, 59.69);…21. Kyle Tress (USA) (1:00.32, DNS);
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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.