Twelve of the top U.S. skeleton athletes inched closer to their Olympic dreams with the announcement of the 2017-18 national team on Wednesday.
Leading the men’s standings after Tuesday’s final race of the USA Skeleton National Team Trials competition in Lake Placid, New York, is two-time Olympian John Daly. Daly retired from the sport following the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, but began his comeback last fall and swept the races in Lake Placid to put himself in USA-1 and lead the men’s world cup tour roster.
He’ll be joined on the world cup tour by Greg West, who is making his world cup debut at age 32 after registering third-place finishes at Lake Placid and wins in Calgary, Alberta, and 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Matt Antoine, who had three second-place finishes and one fourth-place finish in the trials races.
Competing on the world cup tour for the women will be Kendall Wesenberg, who had one win, two second-place finishes and a third-place finish to lead the women’s standings after winning her career-first world cup medal last season. Along with Wesenberg, three-time Olympian Katie Uhlaender, who won two selection races, and Savannah Graybill, who had top-four finishes in all four races and makes her the world cup roster for the first time since 2014-15, join the team.
The six athletes who will represent the U.S. on the Intercontinental Cup tour are Kyle Brown, Mike Rogals, Nathan Crumpton, Annie O’Shea, Megan Henry and Gracie Clapp-Taylor.
Representing the U.S. on the European Cup tour will be Stephen Garbett, Alex Ivanov, Veronica Day and Samantha Culiver.
The members of the 2018 Olympic Team will be chosen on Jan. 15 based on points earned throughout the season on the various tours.
In addition, 12 athletes were named to the North American Cup team: Austin Florian, Austin McCrary, Dan Barefoot, Chris Strup, Andrew Blaser, Michelle Toukan, Kelly Curtis, Kristen Hurley, Mystique Ro and Kellie Delka. Mike Brandt and Megan Dovell will also have the chance to race on the North American Cup tour.
Also on Tuesday night, after hugs from teammates Daly and Antoine and cheers from dozens of teammates and supporters at the top of the track, 2014 Olympian Kyle Tress took the final run of his 16-year career. He later tweeted, “Thank you for 16 incredible years. It wouldn’t have happened without these guys. One of the most special moments of my life.”
The U.S. women’s bobsled team was announced on Oct. 14, but with weather causing the postponement of some races, the men’s team will be announced after the four-man trials on Oct. 20.