Contact: Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing & Communications Director
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Two Americans in top 10 of women’s skeleton World Cup in Koenigssee
Photo credit: Caleb Smith
KOENIGSSEE, Germany (Jan. 24, 2020)– The U.S. women’s skeleton team posted impressive performances in this morning’s World Cup race in Koeniggssee, with Megan Henry (Roxbury, Conn.) finishing sixth, Savannah Graybill (Denver, Pa.) ninth, and Kendall Wesenberg (Modesto, Calif.) 14th.
“Our athletes did a great job of getting each section nailed down this week during training and trusting that they could put it together on race day,” said USA Skeleton Technical and Development Lead Coach Caleb Smith. “Megan hasn’t been here in four years, and she did an exceptional job of piecing it together today. Savannah struggled with a combination on the track, and ripped through the door on her second run today. It was really great to see those breakthroughs.”
Henry said training was challenging this week, and that she nearly crashed a few times.
“I really struggled with Kreisel this week and almost lost my sled a couple times,” Henry said. “It made me super anxious, but those types of things need to happen. I was squeaking by early in the week, but I wasn’t doing the correct things. Almost crashing made me hyper focus.”
Henry is fresh off her first career World Cup medal, bronze, in last week’s race in Igls, Austria, and she was knocking on the door of the medal stand again today. Henry has raced in six Intercontinental Cup competitions in Koenigssee before this week, but never a World Cup. Henry posted push times of 5.06 and 5.01 seconds, fifth best of both heats, to put her in medal contention from the start. She was in seventh position after a first downtime of 51.98 seconds, and moved up a spot with a second heat run of 51.87 seconds. Henry finished sixth with two-run total of 1:43.86.
“My goal today was to have two consistent runs, and I’m really happy with where I ended up,” Henry said. “When I crossed the finish line and Tuffy (Latour) told me my time, I said, ‘what, that sounds pretty good.’ It was really exciting. I was not expecting to be in the top six, and I can’t be disappointed with that.”
Team Germany finished 1-2 today. Tina Hermann broke the track record in the second heat with a downtime of 51.24 seconds on the way to securing the gold medal with a cumulative time of 1:42.79. Jacqueline Loelling finished second in 1:42.97, followed by Russian Elana Nikitina in third with an aggregate time of 1:43.20.
Graybill started off with the 20th best start time of 5.22 seconds, and drove herself up into 12th position with a downtime of 52.24 seconds. She bettered her start to 5.18 in run two, and threaded together a flawless run of 51.80 seconds. Smith pumped his fist in the coach’s box in celebration when Graybill crossed the finish line. Graybill’s combined time of 1:44.04 moved her up three spots into ninth for her best finish this season, and her best career World Cup result in Koenigssee.
In her eighth career race in Koenigssee, Wesenberg finished 14th with a two-run total time of 1:44.72. Wesenberg posted start times of 5.25 and 5.26 seconds for runs of 52.30 and 52.42 seconds, respectively.
Racing continues this afternoon with the men’s skeleton competition at 3:30 p.m. local time. NBC Sports and 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, with media inquiries.
1. Tina Hermann (GER) 1:42.79 (51.55, 51.24);
2. Jacqueline Loelling (GER) 1:42.97 (51.64, 51.33);
3. Elana Nikitina (RUS) 1:43.20 (51.61, 51.59);
6. Megan Henry (USA) 1:43.86 (51.98, 51.87);
9. Savannah Graybill (USA) 1:44.04 (52.24, 51.80);
14. Kendall Wesenberg (USA) 1:44.72 (52.30, 52.42);
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, BiPro, Boomerang Carnets, Hudl, Tesa Tape, PVS International, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com.