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Graybill and Antoine win first skeleton selection race
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (Oct. 26, 2015)- Savannah Graybill (Denver, Pa.) and Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wis.) won their respective skeleton selection races at Mount Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid, N.Y. this morning. Athletes are racing for one of two spots per gender on the World Cup team and one of three spots on the Intercontinetnal Cup team.
Graybill is vying for her second World Cup team berth. The former American University field hockey player put a distant lead of 0.30 seconds between herself and the competition with a first heat time of 56.27 seconds. Graybill had some trouble in the second heat, but she held on to a narrow lead of 0.02 seconds for the victory with a two-run total of 1:53.27.
“Lake Placid is my home track and I feel comfortable sliding here, so I know that I just have to shut my brain off, do what I need to do, and I can have good results,” Graybill said. “My goal today was to relax and not fight the track, and it worked, even though my second run was a little rough. I think I got a little too excited.”
Annie O’Shea (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) was in second place with a run of 56.57 seconds, and she threw down the fastest run of the second heat, 56.72 seconds, to reel in Graybill. O’Shea was mere hundredths from Graybill with a combined time of 1:53.29.
Megan Henry (Roxbury, Conn.) powered her sled off the starting block in 5.24 seconds to tie the start record in the first heat, and broke the record in the second run with a push time of 5.22 seconds. Henry’s fifth and second fastest times of the race placed her in third with a total time of 1:53.93.
Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.) is back in the saddle of her skeleton sled this season after spending some time in a bike saddle while rehabbing hip and ankle injuries. Uhlaender finished fourth today with a two-run total of 1:53.99.
Kendall Wesenberg (Modesto, Calif.) was in third after the first run but she ultimately finished fifth with a combined time of 1:54.07. Wesenberg turned some heads last season as the first U.S. woman in 10 years to win a skeleton European Cup title.
Graybill said the team has been cohesive and athletes have been collaborating throughout training to help one another improve heading into the season.
“Honestly, the whole dynamic of the women’s team is incredible this year,” Graybill said. “It’s a positive rivalry and we push each other every day to get better. Seeing my teammates breaking records and sliding so well this early in the season is incredible and I can’t wait to see what we can do this year.”
Despite already having a spot secured on the men’s World Cup team, Antoine competed in today’s men’s race. Even though the Olympic bronze medalist was dominant with times of 55.20 and 55.21 seconds that put him 0.63 seconds ahead of the field, he said he was disappointed with his performance and expects to do better.
“I'm a bit frustrated right now with how I'm performing,” Antoine said. “Last season was not a high point for me and right now I feel like I'm still stuck in that same pattern of performance. The past year has been tough physically and mentally, I need to get myself back to the form of last quad. I'm currently taking that time to try and figure that out.”
Olympian Kyle Tress (Ewing, N.J) moved up from fourth to second place with a speedy second run of 55.53 seconds that contributed to a total time of 1:51.04.
Nathan Crumpton (Colorado Springs, Colo.) posted the fastest push times of 4.96 and 4.95 seconds and was in second place after a first heat time of 55.29 seconds. Crumpton fell back a spot into third with an aggregate time of 1:51.26 after clocking the seventh place run in the final heat.
Stephen Garbett (Parker, Colo.) finished fourth with a combined time of 1:51.27 and Mike Rogals (Orwell, Vt.) was fifth in 1:51.35.
Racing continues in Lake Placid tomorrow at 11 am ET, and the competition will be streamed live on www.usabs.com.
Get updates on the team throughout selection races by following USA Bobsled & Skeleton on Facebook, USBSF on Twitter and USABS on Instagram.
For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing & Communications Director, at email@example.com, or at (518) 354-2250.
1. Savannah Graybill 1:53.27 (56.27, 57.00);
2. Annie O’Shea 1:53.29 (56.57, 56.72);
3. Megan Henry 1:53.93 (57.14, 56.79);
4. Katie Uhlaender 1:53.99 (56.87, 57.12);
5. Kendall Wesenberg 1:54.07 (56.72, 57.35);
6. Samantha Culiver 1:54.21 (57.14, 57.07);
7. Veronica Day 1:54.52 (57.35, 57.17);
8. Kellie Delka 1:54.75 (57.30, 57.45);
9. Gracie Clapp Taylor 1:55.39 (57.62, 57.77);
10. Caitlin Carter 1:55.67 (57.72, 57.95);
11. Morgan Tracey 1:56.16 (57.58, 58.58);
12. Kellie Curtis 1:57.69 (58.44, 59.25);
13. Katie Andress 1:58.35 (58.97, 59.38);
14. Leslie Stratton 1:58.58 (59.77, 58.81);
15. Megan Dovell 1:58.86 (59.03, 59.83);
DNS Lauren Salter
1. Matt Antoine 1:50.41 (55.20, 55.21);
2. Kyle Tress 1:51.04 (55.51, 55.53);
3. Nathan Crumpton 1:51.26 (55.29, 55.97);
4. Stephen Garbett 1:51.27 (55.45, 55.82);
5. Mike Rogals 1:51.35 (55.59, 55.76);
6. Kyle Brown 1:51.45 (55.76, 55.69);
7. Jake Miter 1:51.70 (55.92, 55.78);
8. Greg West 1:52.03 (55.87, 56.16);
9. Austin McCrary 1:52.21 (56.01, 56.20);
10. Alex Ivanov 1:52.26 (55.87, 56.39);
11. Allen Blackwell 1:52.93 (56.46, 56.47);
12. Anthony Watson 1:53.45 (56.86, 56.59);
13. Trent Kraychir 1:53.68 (56.65, 57.03);
14. Jake Bergstrom 1:54.17 (56.66, 57.51);
15. Jimmy Nguyen 1:55.30 (58.02, 57.28);
16. Rob Germaine 1:55.55 (58.10, 57.45);
About USA Bobsled & Skeleton
USA Bobsled & Skeleton (USABS), based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. USABS would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Century 21 Real Estate, Under Armour, Kampgrounds of America, Boomerang Carnets, Park City Lodging, Inc., Classroom Champions, UberSense, Tesa Tape, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Protostar, Machintek and deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at www.usabs.com.