Curtis wins gold and bronze in her Intercontinental Cup debut

Jan. 19, 2019, 7:16 p.m. (ET)

 

Contact: Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing & Communications Director
(518) 354-2250, amanda.bird@usabs.com

 

Curtis wins gold and bronze in her Intercontinental Cup debut 

 

 

PARK CITY, Utah(Jan. 19, 2019)Recently crowned women’s skeleton North American Cup champion Kelly Curtis (Princeton, N.J.) introduced herself to the Intercontinental Cup tour by winning a gold and bronze medal in Park City today. Yesterday’s race was cancelled due to heavy snow, so each run today counted as a race result. 

“I didn’t even think I would be able to race the Intercontinental Cup this season, so I was genuinely surprised when I heard I would have these races,” Curtis said. “I was pretty nervous since this was my first Intercontinental Cup race. It had a more competitive field than I had raced during the North American Cup. I’m still getting over my hamstring injury, so my goal was to keep things in perspective.”

By the third split time in the first heat it was obvious Curtis wasn’t making a quiet debut on the elite skeleton circuit. She posted the 10th best start time of 5.15 seconds, and was already clocking the second fastest splits by the third timing eye. Curtis crossed the finish line in 50.83 seconds to secure gold in her first career Intercontinental Cup.

Germany’s Susanne Kreher finished 0.04 seconds behind Curtis to claim silver, while Anna Fernstaedt from Czech Republic finished third with a downtime of 50.91. Fernstaedt entered this weekend ranked third overall in Intercontinental Cup points. Kreher is an up-and-coming junior that has steadily been climbing the German ranks.

Kreher and Fernstadt were eager to seek redemption in the second race. Kreher threw down a blazing run of 50.69 seconds to take the lead and ultimately the victory. Fernstaedt was able to hold off Curtis with a downtime of 50.88, while Curtis clocked a time of 50.94. 

Curtis first started her sliding career as a bobsledder and began skeleton midway through the 2015-2016 season. She quickly made a mark on the North American Cup, winning the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 titles.

“I’m very grateful to have an entire community of support to help me perform this season,” Curtis said. “The federation’s support in development has made a big impact on myself and my teammates.” 

Megan Henry(Roxbury, Conn.) has had an outstanding season that started with fourth and third place finishes in Igls, Austria. She struggled in Winterberg, Germany, finishing eighth and 10th, but rebounded in Park City with two sixth place finishes. Henry was sixth in the first race with a downtime of 51.39 and sixth again in the second race with a time of 51.43.

"First run, several people slipped at the start including myself and I thought I came out of the groove, which was really strange, but I felt like I bounced back from that on my run and was proud of how I slid," Henry said. "My second run I tried to do a little less and hit before curve seven and just bled time the rest of the way down, so that was disappointing. Overall, I'm happy with how I slid and really was hoping to have a medal finish for the U.S., but I'm happy Kelly (Curtis) was able to do that here for Team USA. She had some really strong training days and was able to pull it together here today, which is impressive for her first Intercontinental Cup race."

Henry posted the third best start in the first run, 5.03, and was the fastest starter in the second run with a push time of 4.99 seconds. She was the only women’s competitor to clock a start time under five seconds.

Samantha Culiver(Scottsdale, Ariz.) finished 17th and 12 with downtimes of 51.87 and 51.75 seconds, respectively.

In the men’s race, Nathan Crumpton(Park City, Utah) narrowly missed the medals on his home track. Crumpton has been disappointed with his finishes this season. He’s struggled to find the top 10, finishing 15th, 16th and 17th before the tour moved to North America. He found his rhythm today, finishing fifth and ninth. Crumpton posted a time of 49.94 seconds to finish only 0.18 seconds from the medals in fifth. He was en route to another top six finish in the second race, but struggled with the lower portion of the track and fell back into ninth with a downtime of 49.98 seconds.

Germany’s Felix Kesinger was victorious in both races with times of 49.45 and 49.18 seconds. Alexander Gassner collected another medal for Germany with a time of 49.63 seconds in the first race to earn silver, while Jisoo Kim from Korea was third in 49.76. Seunggi Jung from Korea claimed silver in the second race with a time of 49.45, and Craig Thompson from Great Britain was third in 49.61. 

Mike Rogals(Orwell, Vt.) was ninth in the first race with a time of 50.03, and tied for seventh in the second run with a 49.91 downtime. 

Newly crowned men’s skeleton North American Cup champion Andrew Blaser(Meridian, Idaho) made his Intercontinental Cup debut today. Blaser posted two 10th place finishes with runs of 50.08 seconds in both heats. The consistent slider was just behind his teammates in both races for an impressive first showing.

“Overall I’m happy with the season and to be able to have represented Team USA,” Blaser said. “I learned a lot and know a lot more of what I think works for me and what does not. I plan on continuing to build upon the foundation that was laid and I am grateful for all of the support from the team, my family, and friends through this season.”

The Intercontinental Cup will make its last stop in Lake Placid, N.Y. next week before the season champions are named. The weather forecast has cancelled many flights, and the teams are eager to get across the country to begin training.

"We are looking forward to finishing up the Intercontinental Cup circuit next week in Lake Placid," Henry said. "I'm just hoping we can all make it there due to the weather!"

For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing & Communications Director, at amanda.bird@usabs.com, or at (518) 354-2250. 

Results


Women’s race #1
1. Kelly Curtis (USA) 50.83;
2. Susanne Kreher (GER) 50.87;
3. Anna Fernstaedt (CZE) 50.91;
6. Megan Henry (USA) 51.39;
17. Samantha Culiver (USA) 51.87;

Women’s race #2
1. Susanne Kreher (GER) 50.69;
2. Anna Fernstaedt (CZE) 50.88;
3. Kelly Curtis (USA) 50.94;
6. Megan Henry (USA) 51.43;
12. Samantha Culiver (USA) 51.75;

Men’s race #1
1. Felix Keisinger (GER) 49.45;
2. Alexander Gassner (GER) 49.63;
3. Jisoo Kim (JPN) 49.76;
5. Nathan Crumpton (USA) 49.94;
9. Mike Rogals (USA) 50.03;
10. Andrew Blaser (USA) 50.08;

Men’s race #2
1. Felix Keisinger (GER) 49.18;
2. Seunggi Jung (KOR) 49.45;
3. Craig Thompson (GBR) 49.61;
7. Mike Rogals (USA) 49.91;
9. Nathan Crumpton (USA) 49.98;
10. Andrew Blaser (USA) 50.08;

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, Under Armour, Kampgrounds of America, Thorne Research, Boomerang Carnets, Hudl, Tesa Tape, PVS International, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website atwww.usabs.com.

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