US skeleton athletes claim four medals in Americas Cup finale
Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director
(518) 354-2250, firstname.lastname@example.org
U.S. skeleton athletes claim four medals in America’s Cup finale
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (March 30, 2012)- U.S. team members Kyle Tress (Ewing, N.J.), Greg West (Orange Beach, Ala.) and Lauren Salter (Idyllwild, Calif.) collected four medals in the final skeleton America’s Cup races of the 2011-2012 season. Athletes from nine nations competed in the two race series at Mt. Van Hoevenberg from March 29-30, and Tress led the host nation by earning double gold medals in the men’s event.
There was more than a gold medal on the line for Tress, who was racing to secure a third spot for the U.S. men on the World Cup tour next season by gaining points in international standings. The veteran national team member successfully earned enough points to secure the third spot after coasting to the finish 1.55 seconds ahead of the field the first day and 1.22 seconds ahead today. Tress capped a demanding season with the fastest four runs of the men’s races and slid combined times of 1:51.59 and 1:49.39 for both victories.
“It’s been such a challenging season,” Tress said. “I worried about results instead of trusting my instincts and sliding with confidence like I did in the fall. I was able to get that feeling back this weekend because I knew I had an important job to do. It’s a relief to finish the season with two gold medals at home. With our World Cup spot secure for next season, I’m going to spend the offseason training for both the mental and physical aspects of sliding as we move towards Sochi.”
First year national team athlete West earned his first international medal after finishing second to Tress yesterday. West was in fourth position after the first heat, but he moved into silver medal position after posting the second fastest run of the final heat for a combined time of 1:53.14.
“Picking up my first international medal kind of feels like the monkey is off my back,” West said. “I really got thrown into the mix this season and had some humbling results on two very difficult tours that covered four new tracks on two continents. Getting the opportunity to come back to my home track and compete in familiar surroundings was great. It’s a nice positive note to build momentum on going into the offseason.”
After just one season sliding, West raced to a national team position this fall and competed on the Intercontinental Cup and World Cup tours against some of the world’s best athletes. He said competing against someone like Tress in the America’s Cup finale was an honor.
“He is a great example of professionalism in the sport,” West said. “I know that he has helped me a ton over the course of the season, and competing with a World Cup veteran is a treat. He did a great job showing how the best approach this sport both in practice and on race day.”
Ander Mirambell from Spain claimed bronze with a total time of 1:53.20 yesterday, and moved up to claim silver behind Tress today with a two-run total of 1:50.61. Canadian Travis Brockway was third in the final skeleton race of the season after clocking 1:51.78.
First year slider Alex Ivanov (Calisle, Mass.) made his international debut yesterday and finished with a solid sixth place result. Veteran Allen Blackwell (Jackson, Miss.) had some trouble down the challenging course and finished eighth.
Ivanov improved his performance and moved into fourth place today. Ryan Sweeney (Whitehall, N.Y.) finished fifth, while Derek Pirtle (Athens, Ala.) posted an eighth place finish in his debut.
“I want to congratulate our America’s Cup team,” Tress said. “For many of them, this is their first international race and they should be proud. There were many strong competitors in this weekend’s races, and they performed when the pressure was on.”
Salter led the women’s team with a bronze medal performance in the finale today. The rookie slider was seventh yesterday, but she put together the third fastest runs today for third place. Salter claimed her first career medal today with a combined time of 1:54.03.
“Getting my first podium is definitely a huge confidence boost going into the offseason,” Salter said. “I’ve been working so hard this year, and I’m very happy to have a podium finish to show for it.”
Australian Melissa Hoar swept the races with total times of 1:54.90 and 1:53.15. Canadian Randee Brookes slid a combined time of 1:55.95 for silver the first day, while Laura Deas from Great Britain was second today with a two-run total of 1:53.58. Deas was bronze yesterday with an aggregate total of 1:55.97, and Salter nabbed the third spot in today’s finale.
Recently named national champion Megan Henry (Roxbury, Conn.) was the top women’s finisher in fourth place yesterday, and seventh today. Meghan Sullivan (Bluemont, Va.) posted sixth and fifth place finishes, while rookie Veronica Day (Vienna, Va.) slid to eighth both days in her debut.
“Our women’s team had a great dynamic, and it was so awesome to be able to race with them,” Salter said. “Our coach Rebecca Sorensen has been my sounding board this year, and thanks to her, I’ve become much stronger mentally.”
Racing continues this weekend with the men’s two-man and four-man bobsled events. The 2011-2012 competitive season officially concludes on Sunday.
For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at email@example.com, or at (518) 354-2250.
Men’s Skeleton Race #1:
1. Kyle Tress (USA) 1:51.59 (55.87, 55.72); 2. Greg West (USA) 1:53.14 (56.52, 56.62); 3. Ander Mirambell (ESP) 1:53.20 (56.36, 56.84);…6. Alex Ivanov (USA) 1:54.08 (56.74, 57.34);…8. Allen Blackwell (USA) 1:54.41 (57.38, 57.03);
Men’s Skeleton Race #2:
1. Kyle Tress (USA) 1:49.39 (54.60, 54.79); 2. Ander Mirambell (ESP) 1:50.61 (55.17, 55.44); 3. Travis Brockway (CAN) 1:51.78 (55.68, 56.10); 4. Alex Ivanov (USA) 1:52.16 (56.18, 55.98); 5. Ryan Sweeney (USA) 1:52.24 (55.72, 56.52);…8. Derek Pirtle (USA) 1:52.63 (56.21, 56.42);
Women’s Skeleton Race #1:
1. Melissa Hoar (AUS) 1:54.90 (57.20, 57.70); 2. Randee Brookes (CAN) 1:55.95 (57.99, 57.96); 3. Laura Deas (GBR) 1:55.97 (58.47, 57.50);…4. Megan Henry (USA) 1:56.15 (58.14, 58.01);…6. Meghan Sullivan (USA) 1:56.94 (58.34, 58.60); 7. Lauren Salter (USA) 1:57.47 (59.21, 58.26); 8. Veronica Day (USA) 1:57.78 (58.68, 59.10);
Women’s Skeleton Race #2:
1. Melissa Hoar (AUS) 1:53.15 (56.65, 56.50); 2. Laura Deas (GBR) 1:53.58 (56.64, 56.94); 3. Lauren Salter (USA) 1:54.03 (57.00, 57.03);…5. Meghan Sullivan (USA) 1:55.19 (57.53, 57.66); 7. Megan Henry (USA) 1:55.35 (57.53, 57.82); 8. Veronica Day (USA) 1:55.75 (57.13, 58.62);
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.