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Crumpton leads American men’s skeleton team at World Championships with eighth place finish
IGLS, Austria (Feb. 19, 2016)- Nathan Crumpton (Park City, Utah) maintained his overnight position to finish as the top American in eighth at the men’s skeleton 2016 World Championships in Igls, Austria today. Olympic bronze medalist Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wis.) chased down his teammate to move up into ninth today, and Kyle Brown (Concord, N.H.) finished 13th.
“I’m ecstatic to have a top 10 finish, but I’m also relieved to be finished,” Crumpton said. “It’s a wonderful conclusion to the championships. I’m stoked with the outcome after a shaky first run.”
Crumpton, a former NCAA Division I track and field athlete from Princeton, posted starts of 5.00 and 4.95 seconds for runs of 52.87 and 52.98 seconds, respectively, in today’s final heats. His third run was eighth best of the heat, and despite only the 11th best time of the final run, Crumpton managed to maintain his eighth place position with a four-run combined time of 3:32.12.
“I made a couple of mistakes at the bottom and I thought Matt would pass me because he’s been so fast at the bottom,” Crumpton said. “Matt is the guy that I’ve looked up to since I entered the sport. He’s a tremendous athlete, I still look up to him, and he’s really helped me get up to speed on tour.”
Antoine entered today’s final heats in 11th position. The veteran gained two positions after clocking the seventh best time of today’s first run, 52.83, to chase down Crumpton. Antoine raced to the finish in 53.03 in the final heat and fell 0.11 seconds short of his teammate for ninth with an aggregate time of 3:32.23.
“My runs were pretty decent but I made a few mistakes here and there,” Antoine said. “It’s a push track. I’m disappointed, but it’s the expected result. I guess I can say I met my goal because I wanted a top 10 finish, but it’s not a goal I’m necessarily happy with.”
Igls is one of the shortest tracks on tour, making start times even more vitally important. Antoine changed up his training routine last summer, but his start times suffered. He’s now back on the program that led him to the Olympic podium, but Antoine knows he won’t see results for months. Today he posted start times of 5.08 and 5.09, 22nd and 17th best of the field.
“Next week will be kind of an unceremonious end of the season,” Antoine said. “I learned some hard lessons last summer and this season, so we’ll see what I take from those lessons and how I can come back next season.”
What American Brown lacked in consistency he made up in heart. After a problematic first heat yesterday, Brown threw down with everything he had today with hopes of moving up. The World Championship rookie made a few minor mistakes in the first heat and fell back a spot with a push of 5.04 and run time of 53.20 seconds. Undeterred, Brown bounded off the start in 4.98 and improved his run to 52.92 seconds to bring himself up to 13th with a four-heat total time of 3:32.70. Brown has only had 14 runs on the Austrian track coming into this week, and he said he was learning with every inch of every run.
“This format is completely different than what I’m used to with four heats and consistency matters,” Brown said. “I definitely have a lot to work on. You have to be really consistent on a track like this; little things here and there will kill your speed. I made too many mistakes in my first runs both days, but came back hard with great second runs each day. One day I’ll be able to put those great runs together, and I’m trying to learn as fast as possible.”
Not surprisingly, Latvian Martins Dukurs held his lead and broke the track record with a final run of 52.09 to claim the 2016 World Championship title with a total time of 3:28.84. Russian Alexander Tretiakov and Korean Sungbin Yun tied for second place, finishing 1.13 seconds off the speedy pace set by Dukurs with a cumulative time of 3:29.97.
World Championship action continues tomorrow with the final heats of the women’s skeleton competition and the first two heats of the four-person bobsled race. Catch the action on Universal Sports HD or NBC Sports Live Extra as Team USA vies for the medals.
Visit www.usabs.com for updates and results throughout the two-week event. For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing & Communications Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (518) 354-2250. Get updates on the team by following USA Bobsled & Skeleton on Facebook, USBSF on Twitter and USABS on Instagram.
1. Martins Dukurs (LAT) 3:28.84 (52.14, 52.50, 52.11, 52.09);
TIE-2. Alexander Tretiakov (RUS) 3:29.97 (52.49, 52.68, 52.32, 52.48);
TIE-2. Sungbin Yun (KOR) 3:29.97 (52.57, 52.62, 52.37, 52.41);
8. Nathan Crumpton (USA) 3:32.12 (53.22, 53.05, 52.87, 52.98);
9. Matt Antoine (USA) 3:32.23 (53.18, 53.19, 52.83, 53.03);
13. Kyle Brown (USA) 3:32.70 (53.46, 53.12, 53.20, 52.92);
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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, Under Armour, Kampgrounds of America, Boomerang Carnets, Park City Lodging, Inc., Classroom Champions, UberSense, Tesa Tape, PVS International, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Protostar, Machintek and deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at www.usabs.com.