USA Bobsled/Skeleton athletes earn eight medals in opening week of North American Cup races
by USA Bobsled/Skeleton
Contact: Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing and Communications Director
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USA Bobsled/Skeleton athletes earn eight medals in opening week of North American Cup races
Photo: A U.S. skeleton athlete prepares at the start
WHISTLER, Canada (November 10, 2021) – USA Bobsled/Skeleton athletes earned a combined eight medals– seven silvers and one bronze– in the first week of North American Cup races on the 2010 Olympic track in Whistler. The medal haul was led by Brittany Reinbolt (Searcy, Neb.), who earned two silver medals and one bronze medal in women’s monobob, Frank Del Duca’s (Bethel, Me.) three silver medals in two-man bobsled, and Andrew Blaser’s (Meridian, Idaho) two silver medals in men’s skeleton.
“Whistler is always a great track to slide,” Blaser said. “It’s so fast and requires so much awareness and finesse at the same time. Getting to start my season here will hopefully carry over into other tracks.”
Heavy snow kicked off opening day on Sunday, November 7, resulting in shortened one-heat races for the men’s and women’s skeleton competitions.
“The weather on day one caused some issues,” Blaser said. “It caused the timing eyes for the two athletes right before me to misfire, and left me getting ‘iced’ on the starting block while the snow was falling. I have worked a lot to be able to adjust quickly and block out the noise which really played into how I slid during that first race.”
Blaser remained composed and posted the second-fastest time of 53.86 seconds to earn his first silver medal of the week, which was also his first-ever medal in Whistler.
“I have had several races here over the last few years but these are actually my first medals in Whistler,” Blaser said. “It was the only North American track I hadn’t medaled on, so to check that box and walk into the Intercontinental Cup races next week having had the opportunity to learn this week is great.”
Alexander Schlintner from Austria was victorious with a run of 53.71 seconds, and Canadian Evan Neufeldt claimed bronze in 53.95.
Stephen Garbett (Parker, Colo.) was one of the two athletes who needed to take a rerun due to a malfunction of the timing eyes. He finished 13th with a time of 54.89 seconds. Daniel Barefoot (Johnstown, Pa.) finished 17th, and Hunter Williams (Carnegie, Penn.) was 21st.
The American men posted two top-10 finishes on Monday with Blaser in eighth place and Garbett in 10th. Barefoot finished 13th, and Williams bettered his position to 19th. Schlintner had a repeat win with a total time of 1:47.34, followed by David Park from Canada in second with a 1:47.94, and Ander Mirambell from Spain in third with a two-run total of 1:48.03.
Blaser rallied back in the final race yesterday with a silver medal performance. He slid to the finish in 1:47.43 with downtimes of 53.59 and 53.84 seconds. Neufeldt secured gold with a 1:47.21, while Brendan Doyle from Ireland earned bronze in 1:47.78.
Williams nearly cracked the top-10 with an 11th place finish. Garbett finished 13th, and Barefoot was 23rd.
In women’s skeleton, Savannah Graybill (Denver, Pa.) led the U.S. with two fourth-place finishes. She clocked a run of 55.39 seconds to finish fourth in Sunday’s shortened race, and fourth again on Monday with a combined time of 1:50.35.
“It was great to kick off the season in Whistler and get a few races under my belt ahead of the Intercontinental Cup schedule,” Graybill said. “It’s been two years since most of us have been back to Whistler, and we all enjoyed getting reacquainted with the track. I still have a lot to work on, but I’m happy with my progress. A huge thanks to the Whistler track crew for their hard work over the past week. We saw a ton of rain at the beginning of the week that quickly transitioned to snow, and they put in a tremendous effort to keep the track in good shape.”
Sara Roderick (Truro, Mass.) was close behind her teammate in the first race, finishing fifth with a time of 55.79 seconds. She was 10th on Monday with a two-run total of 1:52.20.
The American women did not race yesterday while preparing for the upcoming Intercontinental Cup races.
Nicole Rocha Sileira from Brazil swept the women’s races. Canadian Hallie Clarke claimed silver on day one, followed by her teammate Madison Charney. The Canadians swapped places on Monday and Tuesday, with Charney in silver medal position, and Clarke in bronze on both days.
Del Duca collected three medals in the three men’s two-man bobsled races. He teamed up with Dakota Lynch (Boise, Idaho) in Sunday’s race to claim silver with a two-run combined time of 1:45.93. The crew pushed start times of 4.96 and 5.03 for runs of 52.79 and 53.14 seconds, respectively.
Canadians Taylor Austin and Daniel Sunderland were victorious in 1:45.42. Chunjian Li and Qingze from China claimed bronze in 1:45.96.
Geoff Gadbois (Milton, Vt.) paired with Manteo Mitchell (Shelby, Neb.) to finish just off the podium in fourth place with a total time of 1:46.13. Tyler Hickey (Geneva, Ill.) and Martin Christofferson (Rapid City, SD) were eighth with a cumulative time of 1:47.23.
Austin teamed with Chris Patrician for a second victory on Monday with a total time of 1:44.56, followed by Del Duca and Boone Niederhofer (San Antonio, Texas) in second place with a combined time of 1:45.11. The duo clocked starts of 4.93 and 4.90 for runs of 52.45 and 52.66. Youngjin Suk and Chanhhyun Park from Korea earned bronze in 1:45.23.
Gadbois and Hickey finished fifth and sixth, respectively. Gadbois teamed with David Simon (West Melbourne, Fla.) for fifth, while Hickey and Bryce Cheek (Lewis Center, Ohio) were sixth.
Taylor and Sunderland completed a Canadian sweep of the two-man races by winning Tuesday. Del Duca and Adrian Adams (Reidsville, NC) claimed the silver medal in 1:45.95 with runs of 52.82 and 53.13 seconds. The duo clocked push times of 4.94 and 4.92. Youngjin and Taeyang were third in 1:46.23.
Gadbois and Mitchell narrowly missed the podium again with another fourth place finish. Hickey and Christofferson did not finish.
Del Duca claimed three silver medals with three different brakeman this week.
“We actually did it with five different brakeman,” Del Duca said. “Kyle Wilcox and Martin Christofferson are a part of our sled as well. The five of these guys make my job easy. They are excellent push athletes and teammates, and handled all of our behind the scenes responsibilities with ease. I know I can count on these guys for anything, at any time.
“It’s a solid start towards our season goals, which are to qualify three Team USA sleds for the Olympics, and have all three sleds be competitive at the Games,” Del Duca continued. “It feels good to accomplish three medals, but I’m already preparing for the four-man races here, so I’m not in my emotions too much.”
Reinbolt was also on the podium in all three races for women’s monobob. She claimed the silver medal in the first competition with a combined time of 1:54.21, behind only Canadian Alysia Rissling, who posted a total time of 1:52.49. Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian claimed bronze for Jamaica with a 1:55.96. American Nicole Vogt (Dallas, Texas) was fourth in 1:57.78.
Rissling was golden again on Monday with a total time of 1:52.60, followed by Reinbolt with a 1:53.87. Bianca Ribi from Canada rounded out the podium in third with a two-run combined time of 1:54.98, followed by Vogt in fourth with a 1:55.93.
Rissling and Bianca finished 1-2 in yesterday’s third race of the series with aggregate times of 1:52.88 and 1:53.06, respectively. Reinbolt rallied for bronze with a 1:54.79. Vogt did not finish.
“Monobob is definitely different and everyone is still learning a lot about it, but monobob is still simply pushing and driving a sled– and pushing and driving a sled are two of my favorite things to do,” Reinbolt said. “The main thing is that we couldn’t race monobob without a ton of extra help moving the heavy sleds around. Lake Kwaza, Nicole Brungardt, and Emily Renna have been awesome about helping with the sleds, even when they are not sliding in them.
“I’m off to a good start after the first North American Cup monobob races, but there are still a ton of important races remaining this season,” Reinbolt continued. “We’re basically in a marathon and we just finished the first mile.”
Skeleton athletes competing in the North American Cup series will travel to Park City, Utah to begin training, while some athletes will remain in Whistler to race the upcoming Intercontinental Cup competitions. The bobsled athletes have another week of races in Whistler with the two-woman and four-man competitions from November 12-14.
For media inquiries, please contact USABS Marketing and Communications Director Amanda Bird at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women’s skeleton #1 (11/07)
1. Nicole Rocha Silveira (BRA) 54.41;
2. Hallie Clarke (CAN) 54.97;
3. Madison Charney (CAN) 55.27;
4. Savannah Graybill (USA) 55.39;
5. Sara Roderick (USA) 55.79;
19. Michelle Toukan (USA) 1:00.43;
Women’s skeleton #2 (11/08)
1. Nicole Rocha Silveira (BRA) 1:48.58 (54.22, 54.36);
2. Madison Charney (CAN) 1:49.08 (54.51, 54.57);
3. Hallie Clarke (CAN) 1:49.53 (54.58, 54.95);
4. Savannah Graybill (USA) 1:50.35 (55.26, 55.09);
10. Sara Roderick (USA) 1:52.20 (55.88, 56.32);
Women’s skeleton #3 (11/09)
1. Nicole Rocha Silveira (BRA) 1:47.76 (53.85, 53.91);
2. Madison Charney (CAN) 1:48.75 (54.12, 54.63);
3. Hallie Clarke (CAN) 1:49.09 (54.23, 54.86);
Men’s skeleton #1 (11/07)
1. Alexander Schlintner (AUT) 53.71;
2. Andrew Blaser (USA) 53.86);
3. Evan Neufeldt (CAN) 53.95;
13. Stephen Garbett (USA) 54.89;
17. Daniel Barefoot (USA) 55.19;
21. Hunter Williams (USA) 55.54;
Men’s skeleton #2 (11/08)
1. Alexander Schlintner (AUT) 1:47.34 (53.71, 53.63);
2. David Park (CAN) 1:47.94 (53.92, 54.02);
3. Ander Mirambell (SPN) 1:48.03 (54.00, 54.03);
8. Andrew Blaser (USA) 1:48.33 (54.14, 54.19);
10. Stephen Garbett (USA) 1:48.93 (54.70, 54.23);
13. Daniel Barefoot (USA) 1:49.42 (55.23, 54.19);
19. Hunter Williams (USA) 1:50.46 (55.31, 55.15);
Men’s skeleton #3 (11/09)
1. Evan Neufeldt (CAN) 1:47.21 (53.35, 53.86);
2. Andrew Blaser (USA) 1:47.43 (53.59, 53.84);
3. Brendan Doyle (IRL) 1:47.78 (53.75, 54.03);
11. Hunter Williams (USA) 1:49.20 (54.20, 55.00);
13. Stephen Garbett (USA) 1:49.32 (54.90, 54.42);
23. Daniel Barefoot (USA) (55.33, DNS);
Women’s monobob #1 (11/07)
1. Alysia Rissling (CAN) 1:52.49 (56.13, 56.36);
2. Brittany Reinbolt (USA) 1:54.21 (57.43, 56.78);
3. Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian (JAM) 1:55.96 (58.32, 57.64);
4. Nicole Vogt (USA) 1:57.78 (58.51, 59.27);
Women’s monobob #2 (11/08)
1. Alysia Rissling (CAN) 1:52.60 (55.83, 56.77);
2. Brittany Reinbolt (USA) 1:53.87 (56.70, 57.17);
3. Bianca Ribi (CAN) 1:54.98 (55.62, 59.36);
4. Nicole Vogt (USA) 1:55.93 (57.51, 58.42);
Women’s monobob #3 (11/09)
1. Alysia Rissling (CAN) 1:52.88 (56.27, 56.61);
2. Blanca Ribi (CAN) 1:53.06 (56.63, 56.43);
3. Brittany Reinbolt (USA) 1:54.79 (57.21, 57.58);
DNF Nicole Vogt
Men’s two-man bobsled #1 (11/07)
1. Taylor Austin and Daniel Sunderland (CAN) 1:45.42 (52.53, 52.89);
2. Frank Del Duca and Dakota Lynch (USA) 1:45.93 (52.79, 53.14);
3. Qingze Wu and Chunjian Li (CHN) 1:45.96 (52.94, 53.02);
4. Geoff Gadbois and Manteo Mitchell (USA) 1:46.13 (52.84, 53.29);
8. Tyler Hickey and Martin Christofferson (USA) 1:47.23 (53.71, 53.52);
Men’s two-man bobsled #2 (11/08)
1. Taylor Austin and Chris Patrician (CAN) 1:44.56 (52.33, 52.23);
2. Frank Del Duca and Boone Niederhofer (USA) 1:45.11 (52.45, 52.66);
3. Youngjin Suk and Changhyun Park (CHN) 1:45.23 (52.58, 52.65);
5. Geoff Gadbois and David Simon (USA) 1:45.62 (52.60, 53.02);
6. Tyler Hickey and Bryce Cheek (USA) 1:45.89 (53.09, 52.80);
Men’s two-man bobsled #3 (11/09)
1. Taylor Austin and Daniel Sunderland (CAN) 1:45.35 (52.62, 52.73);
2. Frank Del Duca and Adrian Adams (USA) 1:45.95 (52.82, 53.13);
3. Youngin Suk and Taeyang Kim (KOR) 1:46.23 (52.98, 53.25);
4. Geoff Gadbois and Manteo Mitchell (USA) 1:46.56 (53.29, 53.27);
DNF Tyler Hickey and Martin Christofferson (USA)
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.