Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager
(518) 354-2250, firstname.lastname@example.org
Eighth place for women’s bobsledders Schaaf and Azevedo in Whistler
WHISTLER, Canada (Feb. 2, 2012)–Women’s bobsledders Bree Schaaf (Bremerton, Wash.) and Emily Azevedo (Chico, Calif.) finished eighth in the Whistler World Cup tonight. Although corner 50/50 lived up to its reputation as one of the toughest corners to navigate on any track in the world, Schaaf and Azevedo were relieved to return to the challenging 2010 Olympic track again.
“There are a lot of memories for us here, so we had fun tonight,” Azevedo said. “We would have liked a better result, but I think we both gave everything we had today.”
Schaaf and Azevedo finished fifth at the 2010 Olympics and consider Whistler a favorite track. Today’s eighth place finish was one of their best results of what’s been a challenging season due to a labrum hip injury that Schaaf sustained over the summer. The weeklong break allowed for some needed rest, and the pair came out of the blocks hungry to get back on the podium as the tour transitioned to North America.
“Olympic year would be the worst timing for an injury, so if it had to happen, I'm glad it was now,” Schaaf said. “At least now I can get surgery right after World Championships and have time to rehabilitate. I haven’t talked about it because I don’t want to make excuses. It just is what it is. Emily pushed like a beast and really helped us stay in the mix.”
USA-1 was competitive with start times of 5.29 and 5.28 seconds. Schaaf piloted the sled to a first heat time of 53.94 seconds, but she was visibly unhappy with the result. The veteran pilot threaded together a smooth second run to move the team into eighth position with a total time of 1 minute, 47.61 seconds.
“The second run was much better,” Schaaf said. “One of the German coaches gave me a high-five and said, ‘Best 12-13 ever.’ It felt good to nail that transition.”
Defending Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries teamed with Emily Baadsvik to secure gold again for the host nation after sliding a two-run total of 1:46.68. Germans Sandra Kiriasis and Berit Wiacker trailed by 0.08 seconds with an aggregate time of 1:46.76 to claim silver. Canadians Helen Upperton and Shelley-Ann Brown made their return to the World Cup circuit after taking the first part of the season off. The pair proved they still an international threat by earning bronze with a cumulative time of 1:47.09.
USA-2 pilot Jamie Greubel (Newtown, Pa.) was back on ice just days after receiving clearance to slide following recovery from knee surgery this fall. Despite not being able to contend for a spot on the national team this season, Greubel has expanded her knowledge as a pilot by competing in the first four Europa Cup races. The rookie pilot took advantage of the opportunity to compete with first-year brakeman Hillary Werth (Springfield, Ill.) in Whistler.
“This is a challenging track, so I was really grateful for the chance to race here,” Greubel said. “It’s been a great experience and I’m happy to have another track under my belt.”
The pair finished 11th with a total time of 1:48.35 to post Greubel’s best World Cup result as a driver. Greubel and Werth were in the mix at the start with push times of 5.26 and 5.24 and clocked runs of 54.25 and 54.10 seconds.
“I was pleasantly surprised that we were so competitive at the start because I’m still battling my way back from injury,” Greubel said. “It was a nice surprise, and I’m really grateful to have Hillary pushing me.”
Megan Hill (Woodstock, Ga.) and Nicole Vogt (Dallas, Texas) teamed together for their World Cup debut today. Hill claimed five medals on the America’s Cup circuit and was granted an opportunity to compete on the challenging Whistler course to further her development. The pair had a bumpy ride in both heats, but crossed the finish line safely in 14th position with a combined time of 1:50.87.
“Overall, our team did a great job,” said Todd Hays, women’s bobsled head coach. “Our two rookies were competing on this very difficult track for the first time and they did very well. Our team was able to maintain their focus throughout the week, and this will prepare this young team for the rest of the tracks around the world.”
Competition will continue tomorrow with the men’s skeleton and two-man bobsled events. You can watch the action live by visiting www.fibt.com, or check your local listings to view the race on one-day delay on Universal Sports. For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at email@example.com, or at (518) 354-2250.
1. Kaillie Humphries and Emily Baadsvik (CAN) 1:46.68 (53.51, 53.17); 2. Sandra Kiriasis and Berit Wiacker (GER) 1:46.76 (53.54, 53.22); 3. Helen Upperton and Shelley-Ann Brown (CAN) 1:47.09 (53.60, 53.49);…8. Bree Schaaf and Emily Azevedo (USA) 1:47.61 (53.94, 53.67);…11. Jamie Greubel and Hillary Werth (USA) 1:48.24 (54.04, 54.20);…14. Megan Hill and Nicole Vogt (USA) 1:50.87 (55.47, 55.40);
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.