Henry secures third overall in Intercontinental Cup standings; USA Skeleton posts three top six finishes in finale

Jan. 25, 2019, 4:36 p.m. (ET)


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


Henry secures third overall in Intercontinental Cup standings; USA Skeleton posts three top six finishes in finale



LAKE PLACID, N.Y.(Jan. 25, 2019)After another competitive day of racing in Lake Placid, USA Skeleton capped the Intercontinental Cup season with a top three overall finish and three top six finishes in today’s finale. While Megan Henry(Roxbury, Conn.) was disappointed with her 11th place finish today, she secured third place overall in women’s standings. Samantha Culiver(Scottsdale, Ariz.) rebounded from yesterday to finish with her best result this season, sixth, followed closely behind by up-and-coming development athlete Sara Roderick(South Burlington, Vt.) in seventh. The men’s race saw Mike Rogals(Orwell, Vt.) in fifth again and Nathan Crumpton(Park City, Utah) in sixth. Stephen Garbett (Colorado Springs, Colo.) had an equipment issue, but he still managed a 13th place finish.

Rogals put together another impressive finish to conclude the Intercontinental Cup tour. Rogals has been battling knee and back problems throughout the season that have inhibited his start times. Despite being nearly half a second back at the start, Rogals put together a textbook run of 54.92 seconds to put him in medal contention. He sat in fourth position going into the finale, a mere two-hundredths from the lead and fifteen-hundredths from third. Rogals had another nice run in the final heat, but his time of 55.02 seconds was just shy of breaking into the medals. He finished fifth with a combined time of 1:49.94.

“Today was overall good,” Rogals said. “Neither run was perfect, but they were both close enough in the places that they needed to be for speed. I’ve been struggling with my push all season because of my knee and back and I’m just glad that I was able to hold on for these last two races on my home track.”

Crumpton, meanwhile, was in seventh after a first heat time of 55.17 seconds. He threw down the third best time of 54.83 seconds in the second heat to move into the top six with a total time of 1:50.00. He finished 0.06 seconds from his teammate in sixth.

Garbett had more than one equipment problem that prevented him from cracking into the top 10. The veteran clocked starts of 5.12 and 5.11 for runs of 56.15 and 55.87 seconds, respectively, to finish 13th in 1:52.02.

“I was excited to move up the ranks in today’s race after selecting the wrong runners yesterday,” Garbett said. “After getting down the first run I was surprised by my time. When I examined my runners I realized they had hit concrete and had been destroyed. Luckily the jury allowed me to change runners and my teammate Sara Roderick had a spare set I could use for my second run. Going into corner four I noticed something wrong with my sled and when I got to the bottom my sled was bent. It’s been a crazy week. I’m hoping to get new runners and fix my sled so I can start preparing for nationals at the end of the season.”

Felix Keisinger from Germany was the men’s winner with a combined time of 1:49.31. He finished a mere 0.02 seconds ahead of Seunggi Jung from Korea, who clocked a total time of 1:49.33 to secure silver. British athlete Craig Thompson was tied with Keisinger for the lead after the first heat, but he fell back into third after the final run. He claimed bronze in 1:49.68.

In the women’s race, Culiver bounced back after struggling with equipment issues throughout the season. She called yesterday’s 17th place finish a “disaster,” but came back today to lead the women’s team with a sixth place finish after clocking a two-run total of 1:53.75. Culiver pushed a start time of 5.65 seconds for a first run of 56.86, putting her in seventh. She climbed up a spot after bettering her start to 5.58 and racing to the finish in 56.89 seconds. 

“I have to give a huge shout out to my teammate Mike Rogals for helping me work through my whole sled leading up to today,” Culiver said. “I was still pretty disappointed to not have a better showing on my home track, but after yesterday’s disaster I can be nothing but happy in this moment. I told myself that there have been so many things going wrong lately that all I can do is remember to have fun and thankfully that also meant I also got to close out the Intercontinental Cup with a top six finish.”

Newcomer Roderick made an impression today after clocking the sixth best time of 56.72 seconds in the first heat. In only her first season racing, Roderick is still working through the kinks of sliding and building consistency as she gains experience. In yesterday’s race, she popped the groove at the start in the second heat. While she didn’t pop the groove today, she did trip and had what she calls “a crazy load.” She posted a second run time of 57.42 seconds, only 11th best of the heat, and dropped into seventh with a combined time of 1:54.14.

“I let it slip away again,” Roderick said. “My strength became my weakness this week it seems. I had trouble putting together two runs, but I’m learning. I wish I did better, but it’s all up from here. It was such a great learning experience and I’m so grateful for the opportunity. I love being a part of this team.”

Roderick clocked start times of 5.36 and 5.37 seconds, third and second best of the field, respectively. She has a few hundredths of a second left before catching her teammate, Henry, at the start.

“I’m proud of my teammates for showing up when it matters,” Henry said. “Sara really stepped up as a rookie and showed her potential here.”

Henry was again the fastest women’s competitor off the start block today. She powered her sled to pushes of 5.30 and 5.33 seconds. Henry carried the fastest splits down the track until the fourth timing eye, where she began to lose speed in both heats. Henry’s downtimes of 57.23 and 57.38 seconds added up to a total time of 1:54.61 for 11th place.

“I was really good about leaving yesterday behind and had a solid head space going into today, which I’m proud of,” Henry said. “I also had solid runs up until curve 12. I went in late, which killed my time both runs. That is an error, but errors can be fixed. Cycles of decline are often followed by cycles of expansion, so I am learning as much as I can and trying to be better each day. I would have loved to have won on my home tracks, but sometimes that is racing. I will face this head on and learn what I can without dwelling on what ifs.”

Susanne Kreher from Germany was today’s winner with a two-run total of 1:52.65. Ashleigh Fay Pittaway from Great Britain finished second in 1:52.81, followed by Anna Fernstaedt from the Czech Republic in third in 1:52.85. 

While Henry is disappointed with her most recent finishes, she’s had an impressive Intercontinental Cup season. She finished third overall, behind Fernstaedt, who took the title, and Pittaway in second.

The Intercontinental Cup team has a break before returning to Lake Placid for USA Skeleton National Championships in March, when a spot for next year’s national team will be up for grabs.

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


Women’s skeleton
1. Susanne Kreher (GER) 1:52.65 (56.38, 56.27);
2. Ashleigh Fay Pittaway (GBR) 1:52.81 (56.46, 56.35);
3. Anna Fernstaedt (CZE) 1:52.85 (56.46, 56.39);
6. Samantha Culiver (USA) 1:53.75 (56.86, 56.89);
7. Sara Roderick (USA) 1:54.14 (56.72, 57.42);
11. Megan Henry (USA) 1:54.61 (57.23, 57.38);

Men’s skeleton
1. Felix Keisinger (GER) 1:49.31 (54.72, 54.59);
2. Seunggu Jung (KOR) 1:49.33 (54.95, 54.38);
3. Craig Thompson (GBR) 1:49.68 (54.72, 54.96);
5. Mike Rogals (USA) 1:49.94 (54.92, 55.02);
6. Nathan Crumpton (USA) 1:50.00 (55.17, 54.83);
13. Stephen Garbett (USA) 1:52.02 (56.15, 55.87);

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