Contact: Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing & Communications Director
(518) 354-2250, firstname.lastname@example.org
O’Shea and Antoine lead day two of skeleton selection races
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (Oct. 27, 2015)- Annie O’Shea (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) rallied ahead of Savannah Graybill (Denver, Pa.) in today’s second run of skeleton selection races in Lake Placid, N.Y. to win the women’s competition by a mere 0.05 seconds, while Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wis.) continued his domination of the men’s field by claiming his second consecutive victory in a whopping 1.67 seconds.
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. Four selection races will be held, two each in Lake Placid and Park City, Utah, before the national team is named.
O’Shea was hungry to win the women’s race today after finishing just 0.02 seconds from the lead yesterday. She entered trials with a fresh perspective on how she approaches race day and said she feels better than she ever has before when starting the season.
“After last season I realized that I needed to invest in myself,” O’Shea said. “After an injury, a bad season and another injury, I couldn’t expect to go back to how I was before. I knew that a lot of my struggles were internal, and I realized how much I beat myself up. It’s something I knew I had to change and I realized that once I started talking positively to myself, I changed internally and externally. Overall I’m in a better place going into this season.”
O’Shea was 0.04 seconds off the pace set by Graybill after her first run of 55.49 seconds. She pushed identical start times of 5.33 seconds in the two-heat race, and the veteran responded with the fastest time of the final heat, 55.53 seconds, to take the lead by 0.05 seconds with a total time of 1:51.02.
“I think if it was last year it would have eaten me alive having competition this close, it would have really hindered my performance,” O’Shea said. “But since learning to talk to myself positively, that has helped. Now if we’re close I can build myself up instead of knocking myself down. When you slide in Lake Placid, you never know what’s going to happen, so I think that the changes I made definitely benefit us being so close together.”
Graybill, who won yesterday’s selection race opener, finished second with a two-run total of 1:51.07 after clocking times of 55.45 and 55.62 seconds.
Kendall Wesenberg (Modesto, Calif.) threaded together the third and fourth fastest runs of the competition, 55.56 and 56.12 seconds, respectively, to finish third in 1:51.68.
Samantha Culiver (Scottsdale, Ariz.) finished fourth in 1:51.78, and Veronica Day (Vienna, Va.) posted a combined time of 1:52.19 to tie yesterday’s third place finisher Megan Henry (Roxbury, Conn.) for fifth.
In the men’s race, Antoine led the field by a convincing lead of 1.67 seconds. He slid first place runs of 53.60 and 53.94 seconds for a combined time of 1:47.54. The 2014 Olympic bronze medalist has a bye onto the national team, but he is utilizing the team selection races to prepare for the upcoming season. Antoine was disappointed with his runs yesterday, despite winning the race by over half a second, but said he felt better about his performance today.
“Today was definitely a better day than yesterday,” Antoine said. “We had a great track today, it was fast, and I love this track when it’s fast, I’m able to gel with it really well and have really smooth runs. It felt good to get two fast runs that I was pleased with, but it’s just one part of the equation though. I still have a lot of work to do, especially with my push times.”
Antoine said he’s discouraged with his current push times and hopes to better his start throughout the season.
“I’m mentally trying to get myself back into the right place,” Antoine said. “I had a great day today, but one good day doesn’t change everything. Today I tried to go back to the basics and tried not to over think it. I tried not to put a lot of pressure on myself so that I could relax and do what I know I can do. When you have multiple bad days in a row you start to question if you lost it, but a day like today let’s me know it’s still there, I still have it, I just need to make it happen more consistently.”
Kyle Tress (Ewing, N.J.) once again rallied from behind to finish second. Tress posted the fourth and second fastest runs of the race, 54.48 and 54.73 seconds, respectively, to finish with a total time of 1:49.21.
Greg West (Orange Beach, Ala.) rebounded from an eighth place finish yesterday with a third place finish today. West posted runs of 54.44 and 54.97 seconds for a combined time of 1:49.41.
Mike Rogals (Orwell, Vt.) clocked a combined time of 1:49.76 for sixth place and Alex Ivanov (Carlisle, Mass.) was seventh in 1:49.77. Nathan Crumpton (Colorado Springs, Colo.), who was third yesterday, finished eighth today.
Skeleton athletes will compete in two more selection races in Park City, Utah on Nov. 5th and 6th before the USA Skeleton National Team is named.
Get updates on the team throughout selection races by following USA Bobsled & Skeleton on Facebook, USBSF on Twitter and USABS on Instagram, and watch the races live on the USABS website.
For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing & Communications Director, at email@example.com, or at (518) 354-2250.
1. Annie O’Shea 1:51.02 (55.49, 55.53);
2. Savannah Graybill 1:51.07 (55.45, 55.62);
3. Kendall Wesenberg 1:51.68 (55.56, 56.12);
4. Samantha Culiver 1:51.78 (55.60, 56.18);
5. Veronica Day 1:52.19 (55.94, 56.25);
6. Megan Henry 1:52.19 (56.19, 56.00);
7. Kellie Delka 1:52.52 (56.16, 56.36);
8. Katie Uhlaender 1:52.54 (56.15, 56.39);
9. Gracie Clapp Taylor 1:52.71 (56.25, 56.46);
10. Caitlin Carter 1:53.12 (56.53, 56.59);
11. Morgan Tracey 1:53.42 (56.61, 56.81);
12. Leslie Stratton 1:56.14 (57.89, 58.25);
13. Megan Dovell 1:56.23 (57.75, 58.48);
14. Kelly Curtis 1:56.59 (58.65, 57.94);
15. Katie Andress 1:59.85 (59.93, 59.92)
1. Matt Antoine 1:47.54 (53.60, 53.94);
2. Kyle Tress 1:49.21 (54.48, 54.73);
3. Greg West 1:49.41 (54.44, 54.97);
4. Kyle Brown 1:49.51 (54.45, 55.06);
5. Stephen Garbett 1:49.64 (54.65, 54.99);
6. Mike Rogals 1:49.76 (54.91, 54.85);
7. Alex Ivanov 1:49.77 (54.84, 54.93);
8. Nathan Crumpton 1:49.80 (54.83, 54.97);
9. Austin McCrary 1:49.86 (54.72, 55.14);
10. Jake Miter 1:49.87 (54.84, 55.03);
11. Allen Blackwell 1:50.62 (55.30, 55.32);
12. Anthony Watson 1:51.37 (55.42, 55.95);
13. Trent Kraychir 1:51.48 (55.78, 55.70);
14. Jake Bergstrom 1:51.70 (55.76, 55.94);
15. Rob Germaine 1:52.94 (56.57, 56.37);
16. Jimmy Nguyen 1:53.09 (56.36, 56.73)
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.