Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager
(518) 354-2250, email@example.com
Schaaf and Azevedo fifth in Altenberg World Cup
ALTENBERG, Germany (Jan. 6, 2012)– Women’s bobsledders Bree Schaaf (Bremerton, Wash.) and Emily Azevedo (Chico, Calif.) started off the New Year with a fifth place finish in the Altenberg World Cup race today.
“We were ready to ditch 2011,” Schaaf said. “Last year kicked off with an appendectomy, so I was hoping to start 2012 on a different note. It feels so good to finish well on a track like Altenberg, and I feel like I’m finally coming into my own as a driver.”
Schaaf and Azevedo stepped up to the starting line with steely focus and pushed the sled off the block into the wind for a start time of 6.11 seconds. Schaaf effortlessly navigated the Susan G. Komen for the Cure sled to the finish in 58.01 seconds to place the U.S. crew within striking distance of the medals in sixth position.
The duo bettered their start time by 0.12 seconds in the second heat to give the sled added momentum down the course. Schaaf again expertly threaded together the challenging corners of the track to move the team into fifth position with a combined time of 1:55.65.
Schaaf and Azevedo, 2010 Olympic teammates, have struggled to find their rhythm this season. Their best result first half was ninth just before the holiday break in Winterberg, Germany.
“I was struggling to figure out what was wrong, what was missing,” Schaaf said. “The holiday break was a necessity and really allowed me to refocus on what matters. I was looking forward to starting the second half on this track, because I had some beasts left to slay after the last time I raced here.”
Schaaf learned the notoriously difficult course during the 2010 Olympic season when she was battling to qualify as the third sled for the U.S., which made Altenberg even more stressful to learn. She hoped to return and conquer the challenging course this week.
“The first day of training this week was a reality check, because you can crash anywhere on this track,” Schaaf said “I focused on certain spots during training, and it feels nice to have put it all together on race day.”
Cathleen Martini teamed with Janine Tischer to maintain her World Cup lead after winning today’s World Cup and European Championship event by a mere 0.02 seconds over German teammates Sandra Kiriasis and Petra Lammert. Martini piloted Ger-2 to the lead with a combined time of 1:54.67, while Kiriasis finished second with a two-run total of 1:54.69. Fabienne Meyer and Hanne Schenk from Switzerland claimed bronze with a total time of 1:55.23.
U.S. pilots Elana Meyers and Jazmine Fenlator are getting extra training time in St. Moritz, Switzerland, site of the 2013 World Championships, and will rejoin the World Cup circuit next week in Koenigssee, Germany.
The action continues with women’s skeleton and two-man bobsled tomorrow. Watch the Altenberg events LIVE by visiting www.fibt.com. Universal Sports will also broadcast the events with commentary and interviews on one-week delay. Programs will air Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights at 6 pm EST.
For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (518) 354-2250.
1. Cathleen Martini and Janine Tischer (GER) 1:54.67 (57.45, 57.22); 2. Sandra Kiriasis and Petra Lammert (GER) 1:54.69 (57.49, 57.20); 3. Fabienne Meyer and Hanne Schenk (SUI) 1:55.23 (57.69, 57.54);…5. Bree Schaaf and Emily Azevedo (USA) 1:55.65 (58.01, 57.64);
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.