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Medals remain elusive for USA-1 in St. Moritz
ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (Jan. 22, 2012)–A World Cup medal on the St. Moritz track remains elusive for USA-1 for one more season. Pilot Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) and his push crew of Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas), Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.) and Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.) finished fourth place again to echo Holcomb’s 2007 World Championship results.
“I can’t seem to break the fourth place curse here,” Holcomb said. “I’m disappointed that we lost a medal. We were so close, but we decided to take some risks to try to win and I made a crucial mistake that cost us too much.”
USA-1 sat just 0.01 seconds from the lead after a first run of 1 minute, 5.36 seconds. With their first gold medal of the season in sight, the crew burst the BMW sled off the block in 5.09 seconds to give USA-1 a boost down the track in the final run of their World Cup season. Their grasp on the lead slipped away after the sled bounced at the exit of corner Horseshoe, dropping the team out of medal contention. USA-1 clocked a combined time of 2:10.82 to finish 0.07 seconds from bronze.
“I talked to the coaches before the second run, because I needed to make some adjustments with my line in Horseshoe,” Holcomb said. “Unfortunately, that higher line comes with a risk of hitting at the exit. The risk comes with a huge benefit if it works, but it didn’t turn out in our favor today.”
Maximilian Arndt’s lead of 0.01 seconds in the first heat was in jeopardy after teams put together a solid second heat. GER-1 responded with a track record run of 1:05.16 to claim their second victory this weekend by 0.21 seconds.
Although Manuel Machata inched up into second place, he was disappointed to walk away with only a silver medal. GER-2 clocked a combined time of 2:10.72 to move the team up one position in the final heat, but a few driving mistakes by Machata refused the team a chance for gold.
Edgars Maskalans from Latvia spoiled USA-1’s chance at medaling. Maskalans took advantage of their record setting start of 5.05 seconds in the final heat to wedge LAT-1 onto the leaderboard with a perfect run. The team moved up three positions to claim the bronze medal with a combined time of 2:10.75.
John Napier (Lake Placid, N.Y.) teamed with Jesse Beckom (Chicago, Ill.), Adam Clark (Owenton, Ky.) and Chris Fogt (Alpine, Utah) in the National Guard sled for 12th place. USA-2 was in 16th position after the first heat, but Napier’s impeccable second run of 1:05.61 leapt the team four positions up in standings. The crew also posted respectable starts of 5.22 and 5.21 seconds to cap the European portion of tour with confidence.
“My team and I are very pleased with our second run and the chance we took to advance in position,” Napier said. “Although this season has not lived up to my expectations, we are content with today’s result. We all feel blessed to be representing God, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation and all its sponsors, including the National Guard sled I am honored to pilot.”
USA-1 and USA-2 will return to Lake Placid, N.Y., site of the 2012 World Championships, to train for the next three weeks leading up to the season’s biggest competition.
“The next stop for us is back to U.S. soil where we will attempt to improve in order to maximize the U.S. results in World Championships,” Napier said. “Lake Placid is my home track where I have been blessed enough to win a World Cup. Given the right start times, I am sure there will be little in my way of being on the podium or medals.”
“We didn’t medal in four-man this season, but we’re still a threat,” said Holcomb, the reigning four-man bobsled Olympic champion. “It’ll be tough to beat us on our home track, so I’m looking forward to seeing these teams on ice again at worlds.”
For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (518) 354-2250.
1. Arndt, Speer, Roediger and Putze (GER) 2:10.51 (1:05.35, 1:05.16); 2. Machata, Huebenbecker, Bredau and Poser (GER) 2:10.72 (1:05.43, 1:05.29); 3. Maskalans, Dreiskens, Zalims and Dambis (LAT) 2:10.82 (1:05.36, 1:05.46); 4. Holcomb, Olsen, Langton and Tomasevicz (USA) 2:10.82 (1:05.36, 1:05.46);…12. Napier, Beckom, Clark and Fogt (USA) 2:11.50 (1:05.89, 1:05.61);
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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: 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.