KÖNIGSSEE, Germany- The U.S. team claimed silver and bronze, missing gold by only 0.03 seconds in Königssee, Germany’s four-man bobsled competition today. The Night Train crew piloted by Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) pocketed silver, their fifth medal of the season, while junior athlete John Napier (Lake Placid, N.Y.) added bronze to his rapidly growing list of sliding achievements.

"It would have been even better if we were three-hundredths ahead," said Holcomb. "Medaling is awesome every time, because it’s a weekly confirmation that you are still one of the best out there. Our focus is gold in February, but we also want to win the overall title this season."

The Night Train sits atop four-man World Cup standings with a comfortable 133-point lead after today’s competition. Holcomb and his World Championship team of Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas), Steve Mesler (Buffalo, N.Y.) and Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.) powered off the starting block in 4.84 seconds to finish just four-hundredths from the lead after clocking a first run of 48.68 seconds.

Hungry to climb the podium, team Holcomb burst off the line in 4.79 seconds, just one-hundredth from the record set by Andre Lange’s team in 2004. Holcomb guided his Bodyn sled to the finish with the fastest time of the competition, 48.42 seconds, for a combined time of one minute, 37.10 seconds.

"If it wasn’t for my push team, I wouldn’t be on the podium," said Holcomb. "Camaraderie is a huge part of being successful. We get along really well, and I think it shows with our results. I trust they’ll do their job every time we’re at the line."

Team USA I stood in the leader’s box after their final run, waiting to see if the Germans could match their efforts. Reigning Olympic champion Lange teamed with Rene Hoppe, Kevin Kuske and Martin Putze for a push time of 4.84 before coasting to the finish in 48.43 seconds. Lange’s first run time of 48.64 seconds was enough to squeak past the Americans by 0.03 seconds for the gold with a two-run total of 1:37.07.

"The Germans are tough to beat on their home tracks, but we’ve shown it’s not impossible," said Holcomb. "The Night Train is fast. I can’t reiterate that enough. We need to figure out how to get our two-man results up to speed now, because every hundredth is going to count in Whistler next month, and we like being first."

Napier continues to prove he’s a threat for the podium after finishing 0.24 seconds from the lead for the bronze medal. The junior athlete emerged as a force to be reckoned with this season after claiming gold and silver in the Lake Placid, N.Y. two and four-man events, respectively, and continues to solidify himself as a favorite leading into February.

"Napier was awesome today," said Holcomb. "It’s great standing on the podium next to your teammates and friends. I think he knows now that he can beat the best in the world, and it’s nice to be racing with and against him for medal position."

Chuck Berkeley (Clayton, Calif.), Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.) and Chris Fogt (Alpine, Utah) were Napier’s engine at the start today. The crew placed themselves in medal contention after pushing a first run start time of 4.89 for a run of 48.72 seconds. Thriving under pressure, USA II bettered their push time by seven-hundredths before posting a run of 48.59 seconds to hold their position. Team Napier claimed bronze with a combined time of 1:37.31.

Mike Kohn (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) continues his quest to qualify as the third sled for the U.S. at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Teamed with Jamie Moriarty (Winnetka, Ill.), Bill Schuffenhauer (Ogden, Utah) and Nick Cunningham (Monterery, Calif.), Kohn finished 22nd after the crew pushed a 4.99 for a run of 49.65 seconds, missing the cutoff for a second run.

The international federation will announce nation quotas for the Olympics on Jan. 17th, and only three nations will qualify three sleds. The U.S. is currently the third ranked nation behind Germany and Russia, and will have to battle the Canadians on the world-rank list next week to maintain position.

Complete results can be found by visiting the Federation Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing web site at www.fibt.com. Log on to www.universalsports.com to watch the race on-demand.

The USBSF appreciates your support of the U.S. team. To make a donation, please log on to www.SharetheRideUSA.com. For updates on the team throughout the season, follow USBSF on Twitter or log onto www.USBSF.com. Please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at (518) 523-1842, ext. 106, or at abird@usbsf.com for any questions regarding the U.S. team.

Results:
1. Lange, Hoppe, Kuske and Putze (GER) 1:37.07 (48.64, 48.43); 2. Holcomb, Olsen, Mesler and Tomasevicz (USA) 1:37.10 (48.68, 48.42); 3. Napier, Berkeley, Langton and Fogt (USA) 1:37.31 (48.72, 48.59);...22. Kohn, Moriarty, Schuffenhauer and Cunningham (USA) (49.65, DNS);

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: Allianz Life, Under Armour, Vilter Manufacturing, Kampgrounds of America, 776 Original Marketing, KBC Helmets, Luminox Watch Company, EDAS/Ripxx and Ferris Mfg. Corp. In addition, the USBSF supports the following charitable causes: American Cancer Society, Autism Speaks, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association and Seattle Children’s Hospital. The USBSF would also like to thank the following sponsors and suppliers for their partner, the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project: Whelen Engineering, PPG, Columbia Sportswear, JEGS Automotive, Lucas Oil, Mac Tools, EXA, Lumber Liquidators, ServiceMaster Clean, National Guard, Lincoln Electric and Racing Electronics. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.