Graybill posts season best eighth place in women’s skeleton World Championships

March 08, 2019, 6:03 p.m. (ET)


Contact: Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing & Communications Director
(518) 354-2250,


Graybill posts season best eighth place in women’s skeleton World Championships


Photo credit: International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation

WHISTLER, British Columbia (March 8, 2019)–Savannah Graybill(Denver, Pa.) posted the top American finish of eighth place in the women’s skeleton World Championships in Whistler today, bettering her best finish of the season by three spots. Kendall Wesenberg(Modesto, Calif.) maintained 11th place, and Megan Henry(Roxbury, Conn.) wrapped up her World Championships in 18th.

“It’s been a crazy season,” Graybill said. “There has been so much improvement, and a lot of ups and downs. Taking all of that into account, I’m happy that I was able to come into worlds and put together two solid runs and have a personal best time. I can’t ask for much more.”

Caleb Smith joined the team as the USA Skeleton Technical and Development Lead Coach this season and has given the athletes a new approach to sliding. That often meant leaving behind habits and lines the athletes have learned over their careers, which sometimes felt like taking a step backwards. Graybill said the new perspective has made her a better slider.

“It’s hard to go backwards before you can move forwards,” Graybill said. “You want everything to be a forward progression, but you have to take the bumps and bruises first. They will heal and you’ll come out stronger for it. I’m happy to end the season feeling stronger than when I started.”

Graybill was tied with Russian Yulia Kanakina for seventh place entering today’s final heats. The American put together a first run start time of 5.06 for only the 11th best downtime of 53.85 seconds, which allowed Kanakina to move ahead. Graybill responded with a start time of 5.04 seconds in the final run and raced to the finish in 53.69 seconds for the fastest time of her four heats and the seventh best of the field. Graybill accumulated a total time of 3:35.63 for eighth place.

Graybill’s best World Cup finish of the season was 12th on home ice in Lake Placid, N.Y. last month, making today’s eighth place in World Championships her best result of 2018-2019.

Team Germany swept the women’s medals. Tina Hermann was victorious by 0.38 seconds with a combined time of 3:33.03. Jacqueline Loelling threatened to take the lead with a track record run of 53.10 seconds in the final heat, but she ultimately finished second to her teammate with a total time of 3:33.41. Sophia Griebel completed Germany’s sweep with an aggregate time of 3:34.20.

USA’s Wesenberg had her fastest start in run three by pushing her sled off the block in 4.98 seconds. She entered today in 11th position, and bolstered her chances of moving into the top 10 with the ninth best time of 53.81 seconds. Wesenberg clocked a start of 5.01 in the final heat and raced to the finish in 53.88 seconds to the cheers from friends and family that made the trek to Canada to see her race. Wesenberg just missed the top 10, finishing 11th with a combined time of 3:36.12.

Henry maintained her overnight position to finish 18th in her second career World Championships. She matched her best start of 4.91 seconds in the third run and raced to the finish with the 16th best downtime of 54.39 seconds. Henry slipped at the start in run two resulting in a push time of 4.99 seconds, and she crossed the final timing eye in 54.43 seconds for a four-run combined time of 3:37.93.

World Championships continue today with the opening heats of four-man bobsled. For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing & Communications Director, at, or at (518) 354-2250. 


1. Tina Hermann (GER) 3:33.03 (53.17, 53.48, 53.27, 53.11);
2. Jacqueline Loelling (GER) 3:33.41 (53.42, 53.58, 53.31, 53.10);
3. Sophia Griebel (GER) 3:34.20 (53.83, 53.64, 53.38, 53.35);
8. Savannah Graybill (USA) 3:35.63 (54.06, 54.03, 53.85, 53.69);
11. Kendall Wesenberg (USA) 3:36.12 (54.09, 54.34, 53.81, 53.88);
18. Megan Henry (USA) 3:37.93 (54.82, 54.29, 54.39, 54.43);

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