Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager

(518) 523-1842, ext 106, abird@usbsf.com

 

For Immediate Release

April 3, 2010

 

U.S. Claims Nine Medals in America’s Cup Finale

 

LAKE PLACID, N.Y.- The 2009-2010 bobsled and skeleton competitive season concluded today in Lake Placid, N.Y. for the final race of the America’s Cup circuit.  Athletes from nine nations gathered on Mount Van Hoevenberg to compete from April 2-3 in temperatures that reached up to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. 

 

The U.S. team collected nine out of 15 available medals, which included a sweep of the men’s and women’s skeleton podiums and three medals in men’s bobsled.

 

Women’s Skeleton

U.S. athlete Annie O’Shea (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) dominated the women’s skeleton competition on April 2 from start to finish, leading the field by 0.86 seconds to claim gold with a combined time of 1:54.10.  O’Shea competed on the Intercontinental Cup circuit this season, but a reoccurring hamstring injury hampered her results as well as her confidence until today.

 

"It’s been a rollercoaster year," said O’Shea.  "I had a difficult time putting it together mentally after coming back from an injury.  Ending the season with gold makes me really happy."

 

O’Shea burst off the starting block with blistering push times of 5.39 and 5.40 seconds for runs of 56.71 and 57.39 seconds, respectively.

 

"I knew I needed to work on my confidence," said O’Shea.  "I wanted to walk into the start house prepared for anything today and know that I did everything possible to do my best for the day.  I was able to do that today.  I had two good runs, and now I can take some time off to refocus over the summer and hopefully carry this momentum into next season."

 

Rachelle Rasmussen (Belmont, Calif.) posted the best result of her career after claiming silver with a total time of 1:54.96. 

 

"I’m normally nervous on race day, so I tried to stay calm, joke around and go with the flow today," said Rasmussen.  "I was able to stay relaxed, which helped me be consistent.  I’m really happy, and this will encourage me to work much harder over the summer now that I know what I’m capable of doing."

 

Rasmussen pushed a start time of 5.76 for a first run of 57.29 seconds, and solidified her silver medal position with a second run push time of 5.75 and finish of 57.67 seconds. 

 

Kimber Gabryszak (Park City, Utah) completed the U.S. sweep of the podium after sliding to the finish with a two-run total of 1:55.50 for the bronze medal.  The Intercontinental Cup athlete was excited to return to Lake Placid for one more chance to slide before the close of the season. 

 

"This season kept getting better," said Gabryszak.  "I was able to improve most of my best finishes on various tracks, and one of my proudest moments was my top ten finish here during the Intercontinental Cup race.  I put a lot of work into this season, and it means a lot to keep seeing improvement."

 

Gabryszak pushed start times of 5.70 and 5.68 seconds for runs of 57.66 and 57.84 seconds, respectively.

 

Men’s Skeleton

Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wisc.) celebrated his 25th birthday with a victory in the men’s skeleton competition on Friday.  Antoine led a U.S. sweep of the podium with a combined time of 1:51.36. 

 

"This was a great way to close out the season," said Antoine.  "Today I just wanted to enjoy sliding, because I haven’t done a lot of that this year.  I stayed relaxed and had fun.  We have a strong team here, so it was fun and competitive amongst the U.S. athletes."

 

Antoine pushed the second best start times of the competition, 5.02 and 5.06, and posted finish times of 55.49 and 55.87 seconds, fastest of the day. 

 

"I enjoy the technicality of this track," said Antoine.  "I’m really impressed with how fast the track was today.  The track crew did a great job getting it ready for the race."

 

The Lake Placid track crew worked all night before the competition to maintain race conditions on the course despite unseasonably warm temperatures. 

 

After struggling with injuries all season, Luke Schulz (Davenport, N.D.) returned to competition on Friday to claim the silver medal for the U.S. team. 

 

"This gives me motivation," said Schulz.  "I’ve been kind of down on myself because training hasn’t been going the way I wanted it to in the months leading up to this.  I was able to pull through, and I had a performance today that I’m really happy with."

 

Schulz powered off the block for identical start times of 4.97 seconds and was the only athlete in a field of 15 men to push under five seconds.  Schulz slid to the finish in 55.60 and 56.03 seconds for a total time of 1:51.63.  

 

Completing the U.S. sweep of the podium was Caleb Smith (Lake Placid, N.Y.) with a combined time of 1:51.68 after sliding consistent runs of 55.30 and 55.38 seconds.

 

"This spring was about getting my velocity back and executing corners like I used to," said Smith.  "I’m really happy with today’s race.  I had a great first run and made some mistakes in my second run, but I’m still really pleased with how I performed."

 

Kyle Tress (Ewing, N.J.) finished just behind his teammates in fourth position with a two-run total of 1:52.27 after posting times of 55.76 and 56.51 seconds. 

 

"I’m so glad the America’s Cup circuit ended here in Lake Placid and in April," said Tress.  "It means so much having my family and girlfriend out here and to be racing in front of them.  We don’t get that a lot when we’re traveling, so that’s really special."

 

Tress was also named the 2010 America’s Cup Champion at the conclusion of racing. 

 

"This is the first time in years that the U.S. has claimed the overall title," said Tress.  "It feels great to bring it home again."

 

Chris Burgess (Glen Gardner, N.J.) did not race in the final America’s Cup race, but earned points throughout the season to finish second in overall points.

 

"It’s been a good season," said Burgess.  "This is my second time finishing second in overall America’s Cup points, so it’s another one to add to the shelf.  I was able to make some needed adjustments to my sliding throughout the season, so I’m really happy."

 

Men’s Bobsled

Ethan Albrecht-Carrie (Lake Placid, N.Y.) drove his two-man bobsled to the finish in 1:56.37 for the silver medal in Friday’s competition.  Albrecht-Carrie was plagued with injuries throughout the year, and Friday marked his first and only race of the 2009-2010 season.  

 

‘"I knew I needed to come out here and prove that I knew what I was doing, that I could be consistent and that I could go down the track fast," said Albrecht-Carrie.  "It was a rough season and I didn’t get to slide as much as I wanted.  But, it feels really good to be out here now and to have proved to myself that I could do it."

 

Albrecht-Carrie and brakeman Travis Armbruster (Wakeeney, Ky.) were in the lead after sliding to the finish in 58.01 seconds in the first run.  The U.S. duo posted the fastest push time of the second run, 5.33 seconds, before posting a time of 58.36 seconds.  Albrecht-Carrie and Armbruster fell back 0.22 seconds to finish with the silver medal.

 

Veteran sliders Patrice Servelle and Elly Lefort from Monoco denied the U.S. a sweep of the podium, sliding a total time of 1:56.15 for the gold.

 

Cory Butner (Yucaipa, Calif.) started the sport of bobsled as a push athlete, but moved into the driver’s seat late last season.  Butner slid a bronze medal performance in his first competition as a pilot.

 

"That was awesome," said Butner.  "I love driving.  It’s definitely more stressful and there’s added pressure when you’re leading the sled down the hill, but this is where I’m meant to be in the sled.  Hopefully this was only the first of many races I’ll be competing in."

 

Butner teamed with Kameron Hart (Alta Loma, Calif.) for push times of 5.37 and 5.41 seconds before crossing the final timing eye in 58.27 and 58.45 seconds, respectively. 

 

"The track crew did an amazing job getting the ice ready," said Butner.  "I’m really impressed and can’t thank them enough for giving us competitive race conditions."

 

Conditions were equally warm Saturday morning for the four-man bobsled competition, where Albrecht-Carrie added gold to his growing sliding resume. 

 

"This is a great way to end the season," said Abrecht-Carrie.  "I really enjoy driving four-man because of the unity of the team, and I had a lot of fun.  The weather is beautiful, the track crew did an incredible job maintaining fast ice conditions, and this race is always a celebration of the end of the competitive year."

 

Albrecht-Carrie teamed with Armbruster, Daniel Duckworth (Bannereok, N.C.) and Joseph Whisher (Ausable forks, N.Y.) to win gold with a combined time of 1:55.34.   The rookie push team had the third fastest start times of the day, 5.58 and 5.52, for runs of 57.79 and 57.55 seconds, respectively.

 

"I’m still new to four-man," said Albrecht-Carrie.  "I still have a lot of room to grow, but winning this race gives me a lot of confidence going into next season."

 

Kwang-Bae from Korea teamed with Jinhee Lee, Jinho Song and Donghyun Kim for the silver medal with a total time of 1:55.42, finishing just 0.08 seconds from the lead.  Servelle and his push team of Lefort, Charles Munier and Anas Adoui were third with a two-run total of 1:55.88.

 

Women’s Bobsled

The required number of participants to hold a race did not enter the final America’s Cup race for women’s bobsled, but three U.S. women foreran the men’s competition.  Pilots Jamie Greubel (Newtown, Pa.), Jazmine Fenlator (Wayne, N.J.) and Elana Meyers (Douglasville, Ga.) switched from push athletes to drivers late last season.  Meyers recently won the 2010 Olympic bronze medal as a brakeman for driver Erin Pac, and immediately returned to Lake Placid to begin driving.

 

"Driving has been a great experience and has taught me so much about the sport," said Meyers.  "I have a greater appreciation for what my drivers have been through and I’m looking forward to what the future holds for me in the sport of bobsled.  These two weeks in Lake Placid have been a great extension of an already wonderful season."

 

In addition to Pac and Meyer’s bronze medal, the U.S. also claimed the 2010 Olympic gold in men’s four-man bobsled.  The success of the U.S. team in the final America’s Cup competition is a testament to the U.S. program and recruitment towards the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

 

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:

Women’s Skeleton:

1. Annie O’Shea (USA) 1:54.10 (56.71, 57.39); 2. Rachelle Rasmussen (USA) 1:54.96 (57.29, 57.67); 3. Kimber Gabryszak (USA) 1:55.50 (57.66, 57.84);

 

Men’s Skeleton:

1. Matt Antoine (USA) 1:51.36 (55.49, 55.87); 2. Luke Schulz (USA) 1:51.63 (55.60, 56.03); 3. Caleb Smith (USA) 1:51.68 (55.30, 56.38); 4. Kyle Tress (USA) 1:52.27 (55.76, 56.51);

 

Men’s 2-man Bobsled:

1. Patrice Servelle and Elly Lefort (MON) 1:56.15 (58.06, 58.09); 2. Ethan Albrecht-Carrie (USA) 1:56.37 (58.01, 58.36); 3. Cory Butner and Kameron Hart (USA) 1:56.72 (58.27, 58.45); 4. Jay Noller and Mike Snyder (USA) 1:57.21 (58.23, 58.98);...7. Nick Cunningham (USA) 1:58.34 (59.17, 59.17);

 

Men’s 4-man Bobsled:

1. Albrecht-Carrie, Duckworth, Armbruster and Whisher (USA) 1:55.34 (57.79, 57.55); 2. Kang, Lee, Song and Kim (KOR) 1:55.42 (57.53, 57.89); 3. Servelle, Lefort, Munier and Adoui (MON) 1:55.88 (57.88, 58.00);...5. Berghorn, Miter, Powell and Mouseeau (USA) 1:58.00 (58.92, 59.08); 6. Noller, Snyder, Hart and Anders (USA) 2:01.17 (1:00.47, 1:00.70);

 

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, BNRG, 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.

###