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U.S. claims 11 medals in Calgary North American Cup
CALGARY, Alberta (Nov. 19, 2012)- The U.S. team earned 11 medals in the second North American Cup stop in Calgary, Alberta. Athletes in all five disciplines competed in a two-race series on the 1988 Olympic track from Nov. 15-17.
Junior bobsled pilot Codie Bascue (Whitehall, N.Y.) continued his domination of the North American Cup series by winning three of the four Calgary events. Bascue teamed with Chris Langton (Melrose, Mass.) to nab the first two-man gold medal with a total time of 1:51.91, and posted a two-run total of 1:51.66 in the second two-man competition to repeat his victory with brakeman Sam Michener (Sioux Falls, S.D.).
Jake Peterson (Princeton, Minn.) teamed with Dakarai Kongela (Suquamish, Wash.) and Nathan Weber (Pueblo West, Colo.) to earn double silver medals with combined totals of 1:52.54 and 1:52.26, respectively. Michael Klingler earned both bronze medals for Liechtenstein.
Bascue teamed with Pete Yemm (Overland Park, Kan.), Langton and Michener in the four-man bobsled races. The crew raced to the finish in 1:50.46 to edge out the competition by nearly half a second for gold in the first race. Brad Reinch drove his team to the finish in 1:50.91 to earn silver for the host nation, while Hiroshi Suzuki claimed bronze for Japan.
The final four-man race was a battle between Bascue and Peterson. Peterson and his crew of Harry Lightsey (Kiawah Island, S.C.), Weber and Kongela were able to navigate the course 0.10 seconds faster than their USA-1 teammates to claim the final victory with a combined time of 1:50.75. Jay Noller (San Antonio, Texas), Caleb Pelger (Cleveland, Ohio), Thomas White (Dallas, Texas) and Adrien Adams (Greensboro, N.C.) were 0.80 seconds off the pace to claim bronze.
“We are going into this break with seven gold medals and one silver in eight races,” Bascue said. “I am so proud of how we performed these last couple weeks and I predict that it will continue when we come back from break.”
The back and forth battle for gold between Bascue and Peterson resembles the competitive relationship between national team pilots Cory Butner and Nick Cunningham, who got their start as drivers on the North American Cup tour. Butner and Cunningham were contenders for the title last season as they fought to earn a third sled on the World Cup team, and they have both earned World Cup medals this season. Bascue and Peterson are displaying the same drive to push one another, and they are on a similar trajectory of success.
“I am really excited to see what the rest of the season will bring,” Bascue said. “I am having so much fun, and it should be just as fun the rest of the season. I can't wait.”
Katelyn Kelly (Orchard Park, N.Y.) and Ida Bernstein (Cockeysville, Md.) led the women’s bobsled team with gold and silver medal performances. Kelly didn’t get along with the Calgary track when she first competed there last season, and was hungry to succeed. With the help of the Great British team, Kelly gained confidence on the course and was able to win her first career international medal.
“I was actually really nervous coming to Calgary this week,” Kelly said. “I had a lot of trouble here last year, a couple of crashes actually -one of which was during the race. I am so happy that I was able to come back here more confident and do what I did.”
Kelly and Bernstein were victorious in the first race with a two-run total of 1:56.21. British athletes Mica McNeill and Francis Slater were just 0.05 seconds behind for second, while Canadians Roslyn Nykollchuk and Alysia Rissling brought home bronze.
McNeill and Slater edged out Kelly and Bernstein for the victory in the final race. The second Canadian team of Kimberly Garside and Melissa Lowe were third.
“Ida has been an awesome brakeman this week,” Kelly said. “She was the only one who made it up here to Calgary with me, so she had to brake for me every day and still had more left for race day.”
After a successful start to the season, Kelly plans on meeting up with her teammates overseas to compete in the European Cup.
“Look out Europe, I'll be there soon,” Kelly said.
Noelle Pikus-Pace (Orem, Utah) completed the requirements set by the international federation and is now qualified to enter a World Cup competition since racing the Park City, Utah and Calgary North American Cups. Pikus-Pace swept last week’s races, and posted fourth and second place finishes this weekend while sliding on borrowed equipment. Pikus-Pace’s sled is being updated to meet current regulations, and teammates from the U.S. and Canada offered the former World Champion their equipment for the Calgary races.
“I'm so grateful for teammates that immediately offered their equipment for me to use,” Pikus-Pace said. “Sliding on four different sleds in three days isn't optimal going into a race. Every sled is custom built for each athlete, and not being able to practice on a sled that you are competing on can be tricky.”
Pikus-Pace crossed the finish in 1:56.19 to finish just 0.03 seconds from the medals in the first competition. She rebounded to claim silver in the second race with a combined time of 1:56.04.
Canadian Carli Brockway swept the women’s skeleton races with two-run totals of 1:55.87 and 1:55.76. Australian Michelle Steele was runner-up in the first race, but was knocked into bronze medal position by Pikus-Pace in the second one. Elisabeth Vanthje from edged Pikus-Pace out of the medals to nab bronze for the host nation on day one.
The U.S. team clocked several personal best finishes. Pikus-Pace shaved off 0.10 seconds off her personal best push time when she posted a start of 5.58 seconds in the second race.
“It was so good to see our team beating personal best times left and right,” Pikus-Pace said. “I have absolutely loved competing with the athletes on the North American Cup circuit.”
Austin McCrary (Colleyville, Texas) was the top U.S. finisher in the men’s skeleton races. McCrary clocked combined times of 1:55.06 and 1:54.62 to finish sixth both days.
Barrett Martineau from Canada swept the races with total times of 1:52.68 and 1:52.88. His teammate John Worden trailed him by nearly one second to earn silver the first day, and claimed bronze for the host nation in the final race. Alexander Mutovin from Russia swapped places with Worden to earn bronze and silver medals, respectively.
The North American Cup tour will break until December. Bobsled athletes will return to Calgary for competitions Dec. 6-9, while skeleton athletes will navigate the 2010 Olympic course in Whistler, British Columbia from Dec. 7-9.
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Men’s two-man bobsled race #1:
1. Codie Bascue and Chris Langton (USA) 1:51.91 (55.82, 56.09); 2. Jake Peterson and Dakari Kongela (USA) 1:52.54 (56.38, 56.16); 3. Michael Klingler and Richard Wunder (LIE) 1:52.78 (56.32, 56.46); 4. Jay Noller and Adrian Adams (USA) 1:52.82 (56.48, 56.34);…12. Colin Coughlin and Mike McCarty (USA) 1:53.82 (56.89, 56.93);
Men’s two-man bobsled race #2:
1. Codie Bascue and Sam Michener (USA) 1:51.66 (55.71, 55.95); 2. Jake Peterson and Nate Weber (USA) 1:52.26 (55.90, 56.36); 3. Michael Klinger and Bruno Meyerhans (LIE) 1:52.29 (56.06, 56.23); 4. Jay Noller and Thomas White (USA) 1:52.38 (56.06, 56.32);…12. Colin Coughlin and Pete Yemm (USA) 1:54.38 (57.49, 56.89);
Men’s four-man bobsled race #1:
1. Bascue, Yemm, Langton and Michener (USA) 1:50.46 (55.23, 55.23); 2. Reinsch, Austin, Klepacki and Nemet (CAN) 1:50.91 (55.43, 55.48); 3. Suzuki, Sema, Kobayashi and Kuroiwa (JPN) 1:51.08 (55.44, 55.64); 4. Noller, Pelger, White and Adams (USA) 1:51.13 (55.46, 55.67); 5. Peterson, Weber, McCarty and Kongela (USA) 1:51.34 (55.85, 55.49);
Men’s four-man bobsled race #2:
1. Peterson, Weber, Lightsey and Kongela (USA) 1:50.75 (55.38, 55.37); 2. Bascue, Yemm, Langton and Michener (USA) 1:50.85 (55.41, 55.44); 3. Noller, Pelger, White and Adams (USA) 1:55.55 (55.58, 55.97);
Women’s bobsled race #1:
1. Katelyn Kelly and Ida Bernstein (USA) 1:56.21 (58.01, 58.20); Mica McNeill and Francis Slater (GBR) 1:56.26 (58.54, 57.72); 3. Roslyn Nykollchuk and Alysia Rissling (CAN) 1:56.77 (58.01, 58.76);…5. Berit Tomten and Sineaid Corley (USA) 1:57.49 (58.56, 58.93); 6. Nicole Vogt and Anna Nostrant (USA) 1:58.69 (59.15, 59.54);
Women’s bobsled race #2:
1. Mica McNeill and Francis Slater (GBR) 1:55.05 (57.38, 57.67); 2. Katelyn Kelly and Ida Bernstein (USA) 1:55.96 (57.69, 58.27); 3. Kimberly Garside and Melissa Lowe (CAN) 1:56.57 (58.36, 58.21);…5. Berti Tomten and Sineaid Corley (USA) 1:57.27 (58.43, 58.84);…7. Nicole Vogt and Kelsey Heckathorne (USA) 1:57.97 (58.75, 59.22);
Women’s skeleton race #1:
1. Carli Brockway (CAN) 1:55.87 (58.09, 57.78); 2. Michelle Steele (AUS) 1:56.03 (57.99, 58.04); 3. Elisabeth Vanthje (CAN) 1:56.16 (58.17, 57.99); 4. Noelle Pikus-Pace (USA) 1:56.19 (58.30, 57.89);…9. Savannah Graybill (USA) 1:57.50 (58.69, 58.81);…13. Lauren Salter (USA) 1:59.01 (59.83, 59.18); 14. Meghan Sullivan (USA) 1:59.11 (1:00.09, 59.02);
Women’s skeleton race #2:
1. Carli Brockway (CAN) 1:55.76 (58.04, 57.72); 2. Noelle Pikus-Pace (USA) 1:56.04 (58.31, 57.73); 3. Michelle Steele (AUS) 1:56.20 (58.12, 58.08);…9. Savannah Graybill (USA) 1:57.60 (59.08, 58.52); 10. Meghan Sullivan (USA) 1:58.34 (59.38, 58.96);…14. Kristina Hull (USA) 1:59.62 (1:00.00, 59.62);
Men’s skeleton race #1:
1. Barrett Martineau (CAN) 1:52.68 (56.52, 56.16); 2. John Worden (CAN) 1:53.66 (56.89, 56.77); 3. Alexander Mutovin (RUS) 1:53.70 (57.09, 56.61);…6. Austin McCrary (USA) 1:55.06 (57.25, 57.81);…8. Ryan Sweeney (USA) 1:55.34 (57.99, 57.35);…11. Kevin McGlade (USA) 1:55.76 (58.06, 57.70);…16. Nathan Crumpton (USA) 1:56.57 (58.44, 58.13);
Men’s skeleton race #2:
1. Barrett Martineau (CAN) 1:52.88 (56.59, 56.29); 2. Alexander Mutovin (RUS) 1:53.61 (57.02, 56.59); 3. John Worden (CAN) 1:53.93 (57.06, 56.87);…6. Austin McCrary (USA) 1:54.62 (57.20, 57.42);…9. Alex Ivanov (USA) 1:55.47 (57.77, 57.70);…12. Mitch Danbe (USA) 1:56.28 (58.26, 58.02);…14. Ryan Sweeney (USA) 1:56.39 (58.42, 57.97);
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, WIDIA, United States National Guard, Kampgrounds of America, Vivat!, Global Forwarding, KBC Helmets, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Autism Speaks, Park City Lodging, EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.