USA Bobsled athletes claim five silver medals and a bronze to finish out Whistler’s North American Cup
by USA Bobsled/Skeleton
Contact: Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing and Communications Director
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USA Bobsled athletes claim five silver medals and a bronze to finish out Whistler’s North American Cup races
Photo: USA Bobsled athletes pose with their medalists
WHISTLER, Canada (November 14, 2021) – USA Bobsled athletes claimed six medals in six races at the Whistler North American Cup over the last three days. Frank Del Duca (Bethel, Me.) teamed with a combination of Adrian Adams (Reidsville, NC), Boone Niederhofer (San Antonio, Texas), Kyle Wilcox (Tampa, Fla.) and Martin Christofferson (Rapid City, SD) in the four-man bobsled races to claim two silver medals and a bronze medal. In the two-woman races, Brittany Reinbolt (Searcy, Neb.) competed with Lake Kwaza (Sycamore, Ill.) and Nicole Brungardt (Norfolk, Neb.) over the three days to earn three silver medals.
“This team exhibited teamwork as good, or even better than, I’ve ever seen in my lifetime,” said USA Bobsled Head Coach and Olympic bronze medal winner Mike Kohn. “If someone ever needed anything, someone chimed in to get it done. The results here were great, but the teamwork this group exhibited was extraordinary. There are a number of athletes that didn’t medal, but that played a role in getting their teammates to the podium.”
Del Duca learned the 2010 Olympic track just last week during the two-man bobsled races of the North American Cup series. His inexperience didn’t keep him from showing up on the podium last week, when he claimed three medals, or this week in the four-man bobsled races.
In the first of three competitions, Del Duca teamed with Adams, Niederhofer and Wilcox for second place with a combined time of 1:45.49. The crew powered the sled off the start line in 4.86 and 4.84 seconds for two of the fastest push times of the field, and Del Duca navigated the team to the finish with the second-best downtimes of 52.88 and 52.61 seconds to secure the silver medal.
Canadians Taylor Austin, Chris Patrician, Shaq Murray-Lawrence and Daniel Sunderland were victorious with a combined time of 1:44.46. Koreans Younjin Suk, Changhyun Park, Taeyang Kim and Byungdo Chae took bronze in 1:45.81.
Tyler Hickey (Geneva, Ill.), Matthew Beach (Tacoma, Wash.), Joshua Burrell (Missouri City, Texas) and Bryce Cheek (Lewis Center, Ohio) finished seventh for Team USA. This was the first time training or competing in Whistler for Hickey and his crew. They clocked a total time of 1:47.46 in race one, narrowly missing the top-six by 0.01 seconds.
Geoff Gadbois (Milton, Vt.), David Simon (West Melbourne, Fla.), Chris Avery (San Diego, Calif.) and Manteo Mitchell (Shelby, Neb.) crashed in the first heat and did not cross the finish line for a time, which disqualified them from sliding the second heat.
Del Duca, Wilcox, Niederhofer and Christofferson raced day two together. The crew was again competitive off the block, posting start times of 4.88 and 5.04 seconds. Del Duca clocked the second-fastest time of the first heat, 52.08 seconds, but the team was overtaken by the Koreans in the second heat. USA finished with a total time of 1:45.03 for bronze.
Austin took gold again, this time with Mark Mlakar, Murray-Lawrence and Sunderland. The Canadians won with an aggregate time of 1:44.31. Suk, Kim, Chase and Park nudged the Americans out of the silver medal position with a combined time of 1:44.76 to earn silver.
Hickey, Cheek, Burrell and Beach repeated their seventh place finish with a two-run total of 1:46.80. Gadbois, Mitchell, Simon and Avery decided to race again yesterday, but the crew crashed in the first heat and did not slide the second heat.
Del Duca Niederhofer, Adams and Wilcox were in third position after today’s first heat, but it was the Americans that nudged the Koreans out of second place. The U.S. squad posted identical start times of 4.84 seconds, fastest of any team, for runs of 52.57 and 52.30 seconds to earn the silver medal with a total time of 1:44.87.
Austin completed his sweep of the four-man bobsled races today with a total time of 1:44.30 with push athletes Patrician, Murray-Lawrence and Sunderland. Suk, Chase, Park and Kim were bumped down into third place with a cumulative time of 1:44.93.
Hickey, Cheek, Beach and Burrell broke into the top-six today with a fifth place finish after clocking a two-run total of 1:46.34. The crew pushed start times of 5.14 and 5.07 for runs of 53.20 and 53.14 seconds, respectively.
Gadbois and his crew of Mitchell, Simon and Avery did not compete today.
“Frankie and Tyler had never been on this track before, but they stayed composed and did a heck of a job putting it all together and producing results,” Kohn said. “Geoff and his team also did a tremendous job this week, and they showed their commitment.”
In the two-woman bobsled races, Reinbolt added three silver medals to the two silvers and bronze medal she won last week in the women’s monobob competitions.
“Switching from monobob to two-woman is like throwing rocket blasters on a sled,” Reinbolt said. “Everything comes at you so much faster and it’s awesome. It was also awesome racing with Lake (Kwaza) and Nicole (Brungardt). They both bring so much to this team.”
Reinbolt and Kwaza teamed together in races one and two. The pair clocked competitive start times of 5.31 and 5.32 seconds in the first competition for runs of 55.37 and 55.32 seconds, respectively, to earn their first silver medal with a total time of 1:50.69.
Canadians Alysia Rissling and Eden Wilson claimed gold for the host nation with a combined time of 1:50.68, a mere 0.01 seconds ahead of the Americans. Bianca Ribi and Leah Walkeden, also from Canada, tied Reinbolt and Kwaza for the silver medal.
Rissling and Wilson won yesterday by 0.05 seconds over Reinbolt and Kwaza with an aggregate time of 1:49.03. The Americans pushed off the block in 5.34 and 5.46 seconds for runs of 54.30 and 54.78 seconds. They finished 0.39 seconds ahead of Ribi and Walkeden to convincingly take the silver medal in 1:49.08.
Rissling and Wilson completed their sweep of the series with a combined time of 1:49.41 today. Reinbolt teamed with Brungardt to claim her third silver medal of the week with start times of 5.34 and 5.37 and downtimes of 55.15 and 54.99 seconds. The Americans finished one-tenth of a second ahead of Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian and Audra Segree from Jamaica, securing silver with a total time of 1:50.14.
“The women’s team really came together,” Kohn said. “Nicole Vogt was unable to race in the two-woman races due to injuries, so Emily Renna didn’t get a chance to race. Yet she was here every day, standing for hours in the rain to help move sleds and do what needed to be done.”
After two weeks of training and racing in Whistler, the tour moves on to Park City, Utah. Races in Park City will take place from November 19-29.
“The athletes nickname the North American Cup tour ‘The Grinders Cup’ for a reason– it’s a grind,” Reinbolt said. “Thankfully we survived stage one of the grind and now we’re onto stage two on home ice in Park City.”
For media inquiries, please contact USABS Marketing and Communications Director Amanda Bird at email@example.com.
Two-woman #1 (11/12)
1. Alysia Rissling and Eden Wilson (CAN) 1:50.68 (55.60, 55.08);
2. Brittany Reinbolt and Lake Kwaza (USA) 1:50.69 (55.37, 55.32);
2.. Bianca Ribi and Leah Walkeden (CAN) 1:50.69 (55.52, 55.17);
Two-woman #2 (11/13)
1. Alysia Rissling and Eden Wilson (CAN) 1:49.03 (54.27, 54.76);
2. Brittany Reinbolt and Lake Kwaza (USA) 1:49.08 (54.30, 54.78);
3. Bianca Ribi and Leah Walkeden (CAN) 1:49.47 (54.71, 54.76);
Two-woman #3 (11/14)
1. Alysia Rissling and Eden Wilson (CAN) 1:49.41 (54.86, 54.55);
2. Brittany Reinbolt and Nicole Brungardt (USA) 1:50.14 (55.15, 54.99);
3. Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian and Audra Segree (JAM) 1:50.24 (55.00, 55.24);
Men’s four-man bobsled #1 (11/12)
1. Taylor, Patrician, Murray-Lawrence and Sunderland (CAN) 1:44.46 (52.30, 52.16);
2. Del Duca, Adams, Niederhofer and Wilcox (USA) 1:45.49 (52.88, 52.61);
3. Suk, Park, Kim and Chae (KOR) 1:45.81 (53.06, 52.75);
7. Hickey, Beach, Burrell and Cheek (USA) 1:47.46 (54.04, 53.42);
DNF Gadbois, Simon, Avery and Mitchell (USA)
Men’s four-man bobsled #2 (11/13)
1. Taylor, Mlakar, Murray-Lawrence and Sunderland (CAN) 1:44.31 (51.98, 52.33);
2. Suk, Kim, Chase and Park (KOR) 1:44.76 (52.13, 52.63);
3. Del Duca, Wilcox, Niederhofer and Christofferson (USA) 1:45.03 (52.08, 52.95);
7. Hickey, Cheek, Burrell and Beach (USA) 1:46.80 (53.36, 53.44);
- Gadbois, Mitchell, Simon and Avery (USA) (54.31, DNS);
Men’s four-man bobsled #3 (11/14)
1. Taylor, Patrician, Murray-Lawrence and Sunderland (CAN) 1:44.30 (52.24, 52.06);
2. Del Duca, Niederhofer, Adams and Wilcox (USA) 1:44.87 (52.57, 52.30);
3. Suk, Chase, Park and Kim (KOR) 1:44.93 (52.56, 52.37);
5. Hickey, Cheek, Beach and Burrell (USA) 1:46.34 (53.20, 53.14);
DNS Gadbois, Mitchell, Simon and Avery (USA)
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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.