Team Bascue concludes Whistler World Cup in eighth place in four-man bobsled

Nov. 25, 2017, 7:39 p.m. (ET)

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Team Bascue concludes Whistler World Cup in eighth place in four-man bobsled

WHISTLER, Canada (Nov. 25, 2017)- Codie Bascue (Whitehall, N.Y.) teamed with Carlo Valdes (Newport Beach, Calif.), Sam McGuffie (Cypress, Texas) and Nate Weber (Pueblo West, Colo.) for eighth place in Whistler’s four-man bobsled World Cup tonight.


“Whistler and I have a love-hate relationship,” Bascue said. “Yesterday didn’t go so well in two-man. I didn’t have two good runs, and today I just wanted to come in and get two solid runs. I was shooting for a top-10, and we still managed to do that, but I was really hoping to put together a better second run. I’m still happy though, I didn’t expect to be in the hunt for the medals after the first heat.”


Bascue started the season as the two-man bobsled points leader with gold and bronze medals, but a 16th place in Whistler yesterday dropped him to sixth in standings. Bascue had an equally impressive start to his four-man season after winning his first-ever World Cup medal in the discipline, a silver, last week in Park City, Utah. Bascue was eager to return to the 2010 Olympic track today to better yesterday’s finish, aiming for a top-10.


Team Bascue was tied for fifth with German Johannes Lochner’s sled after clocking a first run time of 50.91 seconds. Both sleds were just one-tenth of a second from bronze medal position heading into the final heat. Sleds shifted positions throughout the second run as the tightly contested race played out. Bascue made some small mistakes that dropped the team back three spots into eighth, exceeding his expectations of a top-10 finish with a total time of 1:42.50.


Bascue, Weber, Valdes and McGuffie continue to be one of the fastest teams off the start block. The crew powered the Night Train 2 sled off the block in 4.76 and 4.74 seconds today, third and second best of the field, respectively.


“The guys pushed really well,” Bascue said. “We work really well together. The chemistry is there, and I think our times will just continue to get better throughout the season. They put so much effort in every day, and I just wish I’d had a better final heat for them.”


The British team of Lamin Deen, Ben Simons, Toby Olubi and Andrew Matthews broke a seven-year track record in the first heat with a run of 50.66 seconds that put them in the lead. The former record of 50.86 was set during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics by the gold medal winning American team of Steven Holcomb, Justin Olsen, Steve Mesler and Curt Tomasevicz.


Deen’s team ended up in the silver medal position though after a stellar second heat from Russian Alexander Kasjanov, who drove to gold with a combined downtime of 1:41.89 with Ilvir Khuzin, Vasiliy Kondratenko and Alexei Pushkarev. Deen made a couple of mistakes in the second heat that cost him time, but held on to second in 1:42.17. Nico Walther of Germany teamed with Kevin Kuske, Kevin Korona and Eric Franke to take bronze in 1:42.37.


Hunter Church (Cadyville, N.Y.), Brent Fogt (Alpine, Utah), Lou Moreira (Somerville, Mass.) and Hakeem Abdul-Saboor (Powhatan, Va.) teamed up for a 4.86-second start in the first run, but their 51.77 second downtime was not enough to earn a second run, and they finished 22nd.


The 21-year-old Church has seven medals on the North American Cup tour so far this season, and this weekend marked his World Cup debut in both two-man and four-man. He was accompanied by a veteran crew, as Fogt, Moreira and Abdul-Saboor — who is a member of this year’s national team — all have previous World Cup and national team experience.


Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.) opted not to race today, deciding to instead race in both four-man North American Cup competitions in Park City, Utah next week to gain additional points towards Olympic qualification. Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas) did not travel to Whistler. Olsen, still new to the driver’s seat, stayed in Park City for extra training before he races in the North American Cup. He’ll rejoin the World Cup tour at its next stop in Winterberg, Germany, which takes place Dec. 4-10.


Results

1. Alexander Kasjanov, Ilvir Khuzin, Vasiliy Kondratenko and Alexei Pushkarev (RUS) 1:41.89 (50.68, 51.21);

2. Lamin Deen, Ben Simons, Toby Olubi and Andrew Matthews (GBR) 1:42.17 (50.66, 51.51);

3. Nico Walther, Kevin Kuske, Kevin Korona and Eric Franke (GER) 1:42.37 (50.81, 51.56);

8. Codie Bascue, Carlo Valdes, Nate Weber and Sam McGuffie (USA) 1:42.50 (50.91, 51.59);

22. Hunter Church, Hakeem Abdul-Saboor, Lou Moreira and Brent Fogt (USA) 51.77 (51.77, DNS);



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