Contact: Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing and Communications Director
(518) 354-2250, email@example.com
Church, Williamson, Volker and Horn narrowly miss medals, tie for fifth in four-man bobsled World Cup
Photo credit: IBSF / Viesturs Lacis
IGLS, Austria (November 28, 2021) – Hunter Church (Cadyville, N.Y.), Josh Williamson (Lake Mary, Fla.), Charlie Volker (Fair Haven, N.J.) and Kris Horn (Pembroke, Mass.) tied for fifth in today’s four-man bobsled World Cup race in Igls. The crew showed their medal potential after posting the third fastest run of the first heat, and they finished 0.06 seconds from the medals. Codie Bascue (Whitehall, N.Y.) teamed with Carlo Valdes (Newport Beach, Calif.), Hakeem Abdul Saboor (Powhatan, Va.) and Jimmy Reed (Garmisch, Germany) for 12th place.
“To tie for fifth is awesome, but to be only a couple hundredths out of the medals kind of hurts,” Church said. “After I broke my toe I knew my Olympic year was going to look a lot different, I just wasn’t prepared for the uphill battle with the injury. It’s another growing experience.”
Church had surgery to repair his toe after an injury in September, and just had the pins removed a few weeks ago. As a result, he’s had limited training leading into the season. He also raced with a new crew this week. Volker, a first-team All-Ivy League running back from Princeton, made his debut today. He was hoping for a chance at catching on with an NFL team for a training camp, but because of COVID-19, the training camp didn't happen. Volker took the USA Bobsled/Skeleton virtual combine on GMTM.com instead, and is now one of the nation’s top push athletes.
Church, Williamson, Horn and Volker pushed the Under Armour wrapped sled off the block in 5.08 seconds in the first heat, and Church led the crew to the finish with the third fastest time of 50.99 seconds. The crew bettered their start time to 5.06 seconds in the second run, fourth fastest of the heat, but fell back in a tightly compacted field with a downtime of 51.22 seconds. The Americans tied Austrians Benjamin Maier, Sascha Stephan, Markus Sammer and Kristian Huber for fifth place with a combined time of 1:42.21.
“Four seems to be the magic number these past two weeks,” Church said. “I only had two training runs in a four-man sled this week, and I almost put it all together in today’s fourth run of the week. We were so close.”
Church earned his first career World Cup medal, a bronze, with Williamson, Reed and Horn in Igls during the January 2020 event.
Francesco Friederich, Thorsten Margis, Martin Grothkopp and Alexander Schueller from Germany were the only team to maintain medal position from the first to second heat. The team was dominant with the fastest start times of 5.01 seconds in both heats, and the fastest downtimes of 50.83 and 50.99 seconds. They were victorious by 0.28 seconds with a combined time of 1:41.82.
Latvians Oskars Kibermanis, Davis Springis, Matiss Miknis and Intars Dambis bounced back from sixth place in the first heat to secure the silver medal in the second run with a two-run total of 1:42.10. Canada’s Justin Kripps, Ryan Sommer, Cam Stones and Benjamin Coakwell were tied with the Latvians for sixth in the opening heat, and they rallied back to earn the bronze medal in 1:42.15.
Bascue, Valdes, Abdul Saboor and Reed powered off the block with a competitive start time of 5.06 seconds in the opening heat, which was fourth fastest of the field. The crew slid to the finish in 51.26 seconds to tie pilot Brad Hall from Britain for 11th.
Hall narrowly broke the tie by 0.02 seconds in the final heat to secure 11th place. Bascue, Baldes, Reed and Abdul Saboor finished 12th with a combined time of 1:42.68.
The four-man race concludes the Igls event, and the World Cup tour will make its third stop in Altenberg, Germany.
For media inquiries, please contact USABS Marketing and Communications Director Amanda Bird at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Friedrich, Margis, Grothkopp and Schueller (GER) 1:41.82 (50.83, 50.99);
2. Kiebermanis, Springis, Miknis and Dambis (LAT) 1:42.10 (51.02, 51.08);
3. Kripps, Sommer, Stones and Coakwell (CAN) 1:42.15 (51.02, 51.13);
T-5. Church, Williamson, Horn and Volker (USA) 1:42.21 (50.99, 51.22);
12. Bascue, Valdes, Reed and Abdul Saboor (USA) 1:42.68 (51.26, 51.42);
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. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com. Individuals interested in becoming a bobsled or skeleton athlete can visit www.usabobsledskeleton.com.