Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager
(518) 354-2250, email@example.com
Sullivan and McCrary top U.S. skeleton juniors
IGLS, Austria (Jan. 26, 2012)–Skeleton athletes age 23 and younger convened in Igls, Austria for the chance to be crowned Junior World Champion today. The U.S. entered a field of rookie athletes that emerged from the growing development program, and for the first time in several weeks the team was able to compete without the snowy weather that has plagued so many European events this season.
“We were blessed with beautiful weather for the race,” said women’s skeleton competitor Meghan Sullivan (Bluemont, Va.). “It was a wonderful change from the snow that was on the track last time I raced here.”
First year competitor Sullivan led the women’s team with a total time of 1 minute, 53.48 seconds for 15th place. The rookie posted consistent starts of 5.76 and 5.75 seconds for runs of 56.78 and 56.70 seconds, respectively.
“I was hoping for a better finish, but I had my cleanest and fastest runs of the week on race day and that’s all I can ask for,” Sullivan said. “The other girls competing did an amazing job, and I learned a lot from some of the best. Now that my season is over and I have been on a lot of new tracks, I am excited to apply what I have learned about myself as a slider to national championships.”
Sullivan’s teammate Sherri Emery (New Gloucester, Maine) finished three spots behind in 18th after clocking runs of 57.07 and 57.36 seconds for a cumulative time of 1:54.43.
“I knew I was going to be up against some pretty tough competition going into this race,” Emery said. “This was a very important race for me. I wanted to challenge myself and see how my skills compared to the competition. From the results, I now know that I have a lot of work ahead of me and I’m excited to keep progressing and pushing for more opportunities to become a stronger athlete.”
British star athlete Elizabeth Yarnold claimed the St. Moritz, Switzerland World Cup victory last weekend and carried her momentum into this week to earn the Junior World Championship crown. Yarnold was the fastest competitor to the finish in both heats and led the field by 0.44 seconds with a two-run total of 1:49.50.
Russian Olga Potylitsina won the World Cup season opening race in Igls earlier this season and was again strong on the Austrian track. Potylitsina was just 0.07 seconds from Yarnold after the first run, but the fourth best run of the second heat kept her in second position with a combined time of 1:49.94.
Jacqueline Lölling from Germany climbed from fifth into bronze medal position after clocking the second fastest run of the final heat for an aggregate time of 1:50.16.
Austin McCrary (Colleyville, Texas) led the U.S. team in his first European race with a 14th place finish after stopping the clock in 1:49.91. McCrary was in ninth position after a first run of 54.76 seconds, but the rookie posted only the 16th best run of the final heat after a few mistakes down the course.
Junior World Championships was also the first European race for Ryan Sweeney (Whitehall, N.Y.). Sweeney finished 17th with a two-run total of 1:50.15 after clocking runs of 54.99 and 55.16 seconds.
“Competing here was a great experience and I was really excited to take part in it,” Sweeney said. “There was a lot of competition and we did the best we could. I was a little disappointed with my finish, but it’s a great learning experience, a motivator to become better, and a good look at competitors from other countries.”
Germans claimed all of the men’s medals to sweep the competition. Alex Jungk posted the fastest runs to win the Junior World Championship title by just 0.011 seconds over his teammate Christopher Grotheer with a total time of 1:47.19. Grotheer secured silver with a combined time of 1:47.19, while David Lingmann finished the German sweep with a bronze medal winning time of 1:47.31.
Junior World Championships continue with men’s two-man bobsled racing at 9 am on Saturday. For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (518) 354-2250.
1. Elizabeth Yarnold (GBR) 1:49.50 (54.70, 54.80); 2. Olga Potylitsina (RUS) 1:49.94 (54.77, 55.17); 3. Jacqueline Lölling (GER) 1:50.16 (55.28, 54.88);…15. Meghan Sullivan (USA) 1:53.48 (56.78, 56.70);…18. Sherri Emery (USA) 1:54.43 (57.07, 57.36);
1. Axel Jungk (GER) 1:47.08 (53.52, 53.56); 2. Christopher Grotheer (GER) 1:47.19 (53.62, 53.57); 3. David Lingmann (GER) 1:47.31 (53.63, 53.68);….14. Austin McCrary (USA) 1:49.91 (54.76, 55.15);…17. Ryan Sweeney (USA) 1:50.15 (54.99, 55.16);
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.