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TEAM USA TAKES ON WHISTLER, LILLEHAMMER AND BLUDENZ TRACKS

by Abby Slenker

WHISTLER, BRITISH COLOMBIA (Dec 4, 2023)- Team USA slid on three different tracks in three different countries this past week: Whistler, British Columbia (Canada), Lillehammer, Norway, and Bludenz, Austria. 


The action began on November 29th with Race 1 for both NAC (North American Cup) Women’s Monobob and 2-Man Bobsled. In Monobob, Riley Tejcek placed the highest for the stars and stripes with a 2-run time of 1:53.44 earning her a sixth-place finish. Sylvia Hoffman placed eighth with a time of 1:54.49 and Lauren Brzozowski placed ninth with a time of 1:54.92. In 2-Man, Kris Horn and Jace Johnson slid into fourth with a time of 1:48.72.


On the 30th, the sliding continued with Race 2 for both events. In Monobob, Brzozowski placed sixth with a time of 1:54.54, Tejcek placed seventh with a time of 1:54.73 and Hoffman placed eighth with a time of 1:54.92. In 2-Man, Horn and Johnson earned a silver finish with their time of 1:48.08. 

Also on the 30th, the Para Sport World Cup began in Lillehammer. In Race 1 for Para Bob, Will Castillo placed fourth with a combined time of 1:53.72. Bob Balk placed fifth with a time of 1:53.89, David Christopher placed ninth with a time of 1:54.03 and Austin Parker placed tenth with a time of 1:54.05.


The first day of December brought more races. In Bludenz, Michelle Toukan and Nick Tucker slid into 14th (1:08.14) and 17th (1:05.61) place in the Europe Cup (EC) Women’s and Men’s Skeleton races. 


In Para Bob, Castillo earned a gold medal in Race 2 with a time of 1:54.13. Balk also made the podium with his time of 1:54.22. Additionally, Parker placed eighth with his time of 1:54.38. 


In Women’s Skeleton on the first, Logan Wudi secured a fourth-place finish in the NAC Whistler races with her time of 1:53.91. In NAC Men’s Skeleton, Bradley Nicol placed 11th in his first race with a time of 1:50.35, Darryl Payne placed 13th with a time of 1:53.41, Nick Brooks placed 15th time a time of 1:55.79 and Sam Allred placed 16th with a time of 1:58.15.

NAC Skeleton races continued on Dec 2nd. Wudi again placed fourth, this time with a time of 1:54.90. For the male sliders, Nicol placed ninth in Race 2 with a time of 1:51.82. Payne placed 13th with a time of 1:53.63 and Allred placed 14th with a time of 1:59.01. 


Race 1 for NAC 2-Women Bobsled brought a third-place finish for Hoffman and Amoni Ashby and a sixth-place finish for Brzozowski and Sydney Milani. Finally, on December 3rd, Brozowski and Milani placed fifth with a time of 1:54.53 while Hoffman and Ashby placed sixth with a time of 1:54.89. 


“The athletes racing on the development circuits this weekend were faced with some tough challenges. Whistler is a proven difficult track so our athletes need to be humble and patient and not get discouraged. We came away learning a lot and gained some valuable experience. The Bludenz track is a new track on the circuit, so it requires our athletes to learn quickly and apply experience from other tracks. Again, the weekend gave us important lessons to build upon,” shared Curt Tomasevicz, Director of Sport Performace for USABS, about these recent races.


Looking ahead, on December 8th, Team USA will make its season debut in the World Cup circuit in La Plagne, France starting with Men’s and Women’s Skeleton.


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