U.S. athletes post four top-six finishes in the Park City Intercontinental Cup
PARK CITY, Utah — Yesterday, in Igls, Austria, for the first time in the history of the sport, there was a three-way tie for first place. In a different group of competitors this week, at the Utah Olympic Park, USA Skeleton (USABSF) athletes posted four top-six finishes in the Park City Intercontinental Cup races. All three women’s competitors– Savannah Graybill (Denver, Pa.), Sara Roderick (Truro, Mass.), and Kendall Wesenberg (Modesto, Calif.)– had a top-six finish over the two days of racing. Andrew Blaser (Meridian, Idaho) led the U.S. men with a fifth-place finish.
“It has been a pleasure to work with this group of Intercontinental Cup athletes,” said Caleb Smith, USA Skeleton Technical and Development Lead Coach to USABSF “They are consistently lifting each other up and bringing a growth mindset to every single practice. The camaraderie gives us a lot of resilience. Each athlete has done a great job maximizing the tools at their disposal. I am looking forward to continuing this momentum into Europe with this crew.”
Roderick was the top U.S. finisher in the women’s race. She clocked the fifth-fastest downtimes of 49.91 and 50.33 seconds for a combined time of 1:40.24 to secure fifth place. Roderick also had the fastest start time of 4.91 seconds in the first heat.
Graybill finished in seventh place with a two-run total of 1:40.52, and Wesenberg clocked a cumulative time of 1:40.88 for 10th place.
Germany’s Susanne Kreher and Sophia Greibel finished 1-2 today, respectively, with combined times of 1:39.74 and 1:39.84. Nicole Rocha Silveira from Brazil claimed the bronze medal in 1:39.97.
Graybill and Wesenberg rallied back to finish fourth and sixth, respectively. Graybill slid to the finish in 50.23 and 50.57 seconds for a combined time of 1:40.80, and finished 0.12 seconds from bronze medal position.
“The past few weeks I’ve struggled with second guessing my steers and not trusting my flow,” Graybill said to USABSF. “I finally found my rhythm this week and I’m feeling like myself on my sled again. Overall, I’m proud of my performance, the performances of my teammates, and the overall team dynamic. Everyone is so supportive and cheering everyone on.”
Wesenberg clocked downtimes of 50.32 and 50.66 for a total time of 1:40.98 to post the third top-six finish for the U.S. women.
Roderick was again the fastest off the start block in the first heat with a push time of 4.98 seconds. She raced to the finish in 50.63 and 50.97 seconds for a total time of 1:41.60 to finish 11th.
“I made some good progress in Intercontinental Cup races and it just seemed like I was missing a little bit extra both days,” Roderick said to USABSF. “It’s all a part of the process and hoping it’s only up from here. I’m stoked for Savannah and Kendall today, great way to bounce back.”
Kreher, Greibel and Silveira repeated their medal performances today. Kreher won with an aggregate time of 1:40.37. Greibel posted a 1:40.45 to win the silver medal, and Silveira was third in 1:40.68.
Blaser was eighth in yesterday’s men’s race with a combined time of 1:38.23. He was in sixth place after a first run of 48.92 seconds, but he fell back two spots with a second run of 49.31 seconds.
Team Germany finished 1-2 with Felix Keisinger in first with a 1:37.29, and Lukas David Nydegger in second with a total time of 1:37.36.
Daniel Barefoot (Johnstown, Pa.) clocked a two-run total of 1:38.59 to finish 10th, and Stephen Garbett’s (Parker, Colo.) combined time of 1:39.27 was 18th best of the field.
Blaser rebounded today with a fifth place finish after posting a cumulative time of 1:38.51. He had the fourth fastest first run of 49.14, and the fifth best time of 49.37 seconds in the second run.
Barefoot was again 10th with a total time of 1:39.19, and Garbett finished 20th in 1:40.69.
Nydegger took gold in 1:37.65. Russia’s Evgeniy Rukosuev snagged the silver medal in 1:38.20, and Seibel claimed bronze in 1:38.21.