By Karen Price | Jan. 17, 2020, 11:42 a.m. (ET)

Megan Henry competes at the BMW IBSF Skeleton World Cup on Jan. 5, 2020 in Winterberg, Germany.

 

Megan Henry is still new to world cup skeleton racing but scored a rare medal for Team USA Friday in Igls, Austria.

Henry won the first world cup medal by a U.S. woman since Kendall Wesenberg last season, and just the third U.S. medal in the past four seasons, claiming the bronze medal in Igls, Austria.  

“I'm super excited to have my first world cup medal,” Henry told USA Bobsled & Skeleton.

Henry, whose strength is in her ultra-fast start times, was racing in just her fifth world cup event. In her fourth start she led the U.S. team with an 11th-place finish in LaPlagne, France, last week. Her previous best finish was seventh in Winterberg, Austria, at the start of the month.

On Friday, she had one of the top start times of the day at 5.36 seconds and sat in third place after the first run with a time of 53.80 seconds. With the top five all within five-hundredths of a second after the first run, the pressure was on for run No. 2. 

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“I knew that I had a really good run, but I didn't know how good,” Henry said. “I got to the bottom and Tuffy (Latour, U.S. coach) told me my position and I was like, ‘Oh, ok,’” Henry said. “I kind of felt like my legs were Jell-O before the second run. I knew that I could medal as long as I stayed consistent with my push.”

She did just that, with a push of 5.37 seconds and a total time of 1:47.70, just 0.26 seconds behind winner Jacqueline Loelling of Germany, who was in fourth behind Henry after the first run. Austria’s Janine Flock finished second, just .02 seconds out of the top spot.

Henry, a member of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, began racing on the North American Cup circuit in 2011 and most recently competed on the Intercontinental Cup circuit. She made her world cup debut in Lake Placid at the start of the season.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic and Paralympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.