USA earns World Championship bronze medal in team event

March 03, 2019, 9:55 p.m. (ET)

 

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

 

USA earns World Championship bronze medal in team event

 

 

WHISTLER, British Columbia (March 3, 2019)– USA athletes joined forces to earn the World Championship bronze medal in Whistler tonight. The women’s athletes led the way for Team USA. Brittany Reinbolt(Searcy, Ark.) and Jessica Davis(Gardena, Calif.) posted the fastest run in women’s bobsled, and the team was bolstered by Savannah Graybill’s(Denver, Pa.) third place run in the women’s skeleton heat.

“My mind is blown,” Reinbolt said. “Winning a medal is totally unexpected, and it feels really good to be standing with my teammates on the podium.”

Competitors in men’s skeleton, women’s bobsled, women’s skeleton and men’s two-man bobsled take one run each, and the four runs are combined for a total. The nation with the lowest combined time was declared the winner.

Greg West(Springfield, Mo.) was the first of the team to take a run in the men’s skeleton heat. He slid to the finish in 53.46 seconds for the sixth best time of the discipline. Reinbolt and Davis were next to the line, and the women’s bobsledders put the team in medal contention by clocking the fastest time of 52.67 seconds in a wild heat. Four of the nine women’s bobsled teams crashed, including recently crowned World Champion Mariama Jamanka from Germany.

“I really wanted to do better than fifth in the women’s race today, so it feels good to come out and do better in the team event,” Reinbolt said. “It’s a crazy track to do three runs in one day, which showed in the women’s bobsled heat. But I love this track, and I drive better when I’m more relaxed. Jessica is a blast to slide with, and I had a lot of fun, which made me slide faster.”

Graybill pushed a personal best start time of 5.05 seconds and raced to the finish in 54.15 seconds for the third best time of the heat to keep Team USA in medal contention. 

“I was super excited, but also anxious,” Graybill said. “There were some holds in the women’s bobsled heat, and by the time it was my turn I just wanted to go already. I settled in after corner two and honestly tried to relax and melt into my sled and let it flow. There’s definitely more in the tank for our race this week.”

Geoff Gadbois(Milton, Vt.) and Kris Horn(Pembroke, Mass.) were the final team members to take a run in the men’s bobsled heat. The duo crossed the finish line in 52.21 seconds for the eighth best time, but it was enough to hold on to bronze. Team USA earned the first World Championship medal of 2019 with a combined time of 3:32.49.

“It’s really exciting,” Graybill said. “The team had a lot of fun. We saw some top teams in the world tip over, so it wasn’t easy. The name of the game in Whistler is consistency; you can’t get complacent here.”

Team Germany was victorious with a combined time of 3:31.85. Johannes Lochner and Marc Rademacher were the fastest men’s bobsled team with a run of 51.26 seconds, which propelled the team to the top of the leader board. Christopher Grotheer was just fifth best in the men’s skeleton heat, while Sophia Griebel was second in women’s skeleton. Anna Koehler and Lisa Gericke were fourth in women’s bobsled.

Team Canada secured the silver medal in 3:32.00. Dave Greszczyszyn in men’s skeleton and Christine De Bruin and Kristen Bujnowski in women’s bobsled posted the second best times of their heats. Mirela Rahneva was fifth in the women’s skeleton run, while Nick Poloniato and Keefer Joyce posted the fourth best time in men’s bobsled.

The second U.S. team of Austin Florian (Southington, Conn.), Nicole Vogt(Dallas, Texas), Sylvia Hoffman(Arlington, Texas), Kendall Wesenberg(Modesto, Calif.)
Hunter Church(Cadyville, N.Y.) and Blaine McConnell (Tacoma, Wash.) finished just off the podium in fourth with a total time of 3:32.88. Skeleton athletes Florian and Wesenberg were the fastest competitors on the team, both posting the fourth fastest times in their respective heats.

Training continues tomorrow for four-man bobsled, women’s and men’s skeleton. The skeleton competitions will begin on Thursday, while four-man begins on Friday.

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

Results

1. Grotheer, Koehler/Gericke, Griebel, Lochner/Rademacher (GER) 3:31.85 (53.37, 53.16, 54.06, 51.26);
2. Greszczyszyn, De Bruin/Bujnowski, Rahneva, Poloniato/Joyce (CAN) 3:32.00 (53.02, 52.92, 54.45, 51.61);
3. West, Reinbolt/Davis, Graybill, Gadbois/Horn (USA) 3:32.49 (53.46, 52.67, 54.15, 52.21);
4. Florian, Vogt/Hoffman, Wesenberg, Church/McConnell (USA) 3:32.88 (53.27, 53.48, 54.19, 51.94);

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, BiPro, 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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