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Church, Williamson, Reed and Horn in 17th after opening heats of four-man bobsled World Championships
Photo credit: IBSF
ALTENBERG, Germany (Feb. 29, 2020)– Hunter Church (Cadyville, N.Y.) and his four-man bobsled push crew of Josh Williamson (Lake Mary, Fla.), Jimmy Reed (Garmisch, Germany) and Kris Horn (Pembroke, Mass.) are in 17th after day one of 2020 World Championships in Altenberg with room to move up in tomorrow’s finale.
“I haven’t had the greatest relationship with this track so far, and I’m disappointed for sure with today’s runs,” Church said. “I had a lot higher expectations coming into today. We’ll get fired up for tomorrow and throw down two good runs to end on a good note.”
The team was forced to take the final day of official training off due to some issues with the sled that needed repair. The U.S. skipped the final World Cup race in Sigulda, Latvia to get more training time in Altenberg, which proved favorable in light of the unforeseen sled issue leading into the race.
Church, Williamson, Reed and Horn powered the Under Armour branded sled off the block in 5.14 seconds, sixth best of the field, for a first run time of 54.99 seconds. The team was in 16th position heading into the second heat. The crew didn’t hold anything back at the start in run two, but a misstep and trouble loading into the sled led to a slower push time of 5.20 seconds. Church navigated the team to the finish in 54.81 seconds for a combined time of 1:49.80. Church, Williamson, Reed and Horn will start tomorrow’s final two heats in 17th place.
“We’re better than this for sure, but this is helping us for next year,” said USA Bobsled Head Coach Mike Kohn. “This is a young team and we’re still learning. I can live with mistakes as long as everyone is putting in maximum effort, which these guys are doing every day.”
Tomorrow will be a battle for the medals with the top five sleds within 0.09 seconds of each other. Germany’s Nico Walther and his crew of Paul Krenz, Joshua Bluhm and Eric Franke are currently in first with a total time of 1:48.50. Walther posted the third and second best times of today’s opening heats to edge Latvians Oskars Kibermanis, Lauris Kaufmanis, Davis Springis and Matiss Miknis by 0.05 seconds for the lead. Germans Johannes Lochner, Florian Bauer, Christopher Weber and Christian Rasp are just 0.01 seconds behind the Latvians in third.
There’s a tie for fourth between Germany’s Francesco Friedrich and Canadian Justin Kripps. Friedrich tied Lochner for the fastest first run, but Friedrich fell back with only the sixth best run of the second heat.
Tomorrow is the final day of 2020 World Championships. The mixed skeleton team event will take place at 10 a.m. local time/4 a.m. EST, followed by the final heats of the four-man bobsled competition at 1 p.m./7 a.m.
NBC Sports and the Olympic Channel will have broadcast and digital streaming coverage. Fans can catch all the action in spectacular high definition via NBC Sports online at NBCSports.com/Live, or through the NBC Sports app. Additional coverage will be available on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app.
Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or email@example.com, with media inquiries.
1. Nico Walther, Paul Krenz, Joshua Bluhm and Eric Franke (GER) 1:48.50 (54.30, 54.20);
2. Oskars Kibermanis, Lauris Kaufmanis, Davis Springis and Matiss Miknis (LAT) 1:48.55 (54.36, 54.19);
3.Johannes Lochner, Florian Bauer, Christopher Weber and Christian Rasp (GER) 1:48.56 (54.25, 54.31);
17. Hunter Church, Josh Williamson, Jimmy Reed and Kris Horn (USA) 1:49.80 (54.99, 54.81);
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, Omaze, Kampgrounds of America, Snap Fitness, Boomerang Carnets, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com.