Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager
(518) 354-2250, email@example.com
Europa Cup wraps up first half in Altenberg
ALTENBERG, Germany (Dec. 10, 2011)- The U.S. entered four competitors into the Altenberg, Germany skeleton races to wrap up the first half of Europa Cup racing. Competitions took place from Dec. 9-10, and Lauri Bausch (Fredonia, Wisc.) led the U.S. contingent with an eighth place finish today.
“Last year was my first time here, and I feel like I didn’t get a fair chance at the beginning to learn the track other than the direction the curves go,” Bausch said. “I feel a lot more confident on the track this time, even though it’s still challenging. In fact, I really like the track now.”
Bausch was in 14th position after the first run in yesterday’s race, but rebounded with the fifth best run of the second heat. While she made up time, her combined time of 2:08.36 only moved her up three positions into 11th.
“My goal was a top six finish,” Bausch said. “My first run was horrendous though. I nearly flipped out of curve four and skid at numerous places down the track. My second run wasn’t flawless, but it was the fifth fastest in the heat.”
Bausch returned to the track today and finished just two spots from her goal. The second year competitor posted a two-run total of 2:03.74 for eighth.
“A fresh start brought me closer to where I’d like to be,” Bausch said. “I was able to set a personal record by shaving off another quarter-second in my second run. Overall, I enjoyed my runs, and I’m continually intrigued by this track.”
Joy Bryant (Port Henry, N.Y.), the second U.S. entrant in the women’s field, finished 13th in both races after sliding total times of 2:08.76 and 2:05.02.
“All in all, this is a fantastic track,” Bryant said. “Being here this past week taught me a lot about the sport. I am so proud that the team was able to end first half on a good note, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what comes for second half. I want to focus on putting together two consistent runs on race days, so we’ll see.”
The Germans swept the podium in the first women’s skeleton race on Friday. Lena Joch was golden with a two-run total of 2:04.41. Tina Hermann clocked a combined time of 2:04.48 for second, while Sarah Sartor was third with an aggregate time of 2:05.11.
Hermann was victorious in today’s race with a combined time of 1:59.94, while Joch fell into second with a two-run total of 2:00.25. Canadian Micaela Widmer denied the Germans a complete sweep of the medals by sliding a bronze medal performance after posting a total of 2:00.48.
Allen Blackwell (Jackson, Miss.) and Adam Moore (Westminster, Colo.) represented the U.S. in the men’s skeleton competitions. Blackwell put together runs of 1:01.87 and 1:01.93 for a total of 2:03.80 to lead the duo with a 12th place finish yesterday.
“Altenberg is a very tricky track and you have to stay on top of your game or it will literally put you on your back,” Blackwell said. “It is my first time sliding in Europe, and I knew going into this race that there would be a lot of good sliders here.”
This was Blackwell’s first time sliding in Altenberg, which has a reputation in the sliding community as being one of the most challenging courses in the world. The developing athlete made a few errors in today’s race and finished 15th with a total time of 2:01.47.
“The start here is very long and flat, which is my biggest weakness in this sport,” Blackwell said. “I was able to make up a lot of time going down the track and was hoping to get a top ten finish.”
Moore finished just behind his teammate yesterday for 13th place after posting a combined time of 2:04.50. Unlike Blackwell, Moore confronted the Altenberg track last season.
“There is something special about Altenberg,” Moore said. “Admittedly, I was intimidated by Altenberg’s reputation last year, but after four runs I couldn’t wait to return. Team trials were difficult for me, but the silver lining to a rather gloomy performance was that I had the opportunity to come back to Altenberg.”
Moore bettered his performance today with a two-run total of 2:00.39 for 11th place.
“My goal this week was to focus on the execution of each individual run, nothing else,” Moore said. “In the end, I finished with a personal best result on the Europa Cup circuit, a personal best start time and a personal best downtime. I’m very pleased with the result.”
Germany’s Maximilian Grassl clocked a total time of 1:59.01 for yesterday’s victory. Teammate David Lingmann was runner up with a combined time of 1:59.38, while Pavel Chuyko from Russia posted a two-run total of 2:00.26 for bronze.
Dave Greszczyszyn from Canada claimed gold in today’s race after clocking 1:56.57. Lingmann was 0.61 seconds behind to again claim silver, while Daniel Lingenauber finished third with a total of 1:57.71.
The Americans had some help this week from the Austrian and Canadian teams, who provided coaching support to the developing U.S. team.
“I would like to give a special thanks to Christian Steger from Austria and Keith Loach from Canada,” Moore said. “Despite having their own teams to look after, they graciously provided feedback and ideas which were critical to our development on this track.”
The Europa Cup tour will break for the holiday before resuming in Igls, Austria from Jan. 4-8. For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (518) 354-2250.
Men’s Skeleton Race #1
1. Maximilian Grassl (GER) 1:59.01 (59.39, 59.62); 2. David Lingmann (GER) 1:59.38 (59.36, 1:00.02); 3. Pavel Chuyko (RUS) 2:00.26 (59.77, 1:00.49);…12. Allen Blackwell (USA) 2:03.80 (1:01.87, 1:01.93); 13. Adam Moore (USA) 2:04.50 (1:01.71, 1:02.79);
Men’s Skeleton Race #2
1. Dave Greszczyszyn (CAN) 1:56.57 (58.08, 58.49); 2. David Lingmann (GER) 1:57.18 (58.26, 58.92); 3. Daniel Lingenauber (GER) 1:57.71 (58.71, 59.00);…11. Adam Moore (USA) 2:00.39 (59.68, 1:00.71);…15. Allen Blackwell (USA) 2:01.47 (1:00.11, 1:01.36)
Women’s Skeleton Race #1
1. Lena Joch (GER) 2:04.41 (1:01.65, 1:02.76); 2. Tina Hermann (GER) 2:04.48 (1:01.53, 1:02.95); 3. Sarah Sartor (GER) 2:05.11 (1:01.91, 1:03.20);…11. Lauri Bausch (USA) 2:08.36 (1:04.63, 1:03.73)…13. Joy Bryant (USA) 2:08.76 (1:04.40, 1:04.36);
Women’s Skeleton Race #2
1. Tina Hermann (GER) 1:59.94 (59.78, 1:00.16); 2. Lena Joch (GER) 2:00.25 (59.96, 1:00.29); 3. Michaela Widmer (CAN) 2:00.48 (1:00.05, 1:00.43);…8. Lauri Bausch (USA) 2:03.74 (1:02.00, 1:01.74);…13. Joy Bryant (USA) 2:05.02 (1:02.52, 1:02.50);
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: BMW of North America, Under Armour, United States National Guard, Kampgrounds of America, National Strength and Conditioning Association, Vivat!, Global Forwarding, KBC Helmets, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.