WINTERBERG, Germany- Shauna Rohbock (Orem, Utah) and Valerie Fleming (Foster City, Calif.) refused the Germans a sweep on their home track by winning bronze in the women's bobsled World Cup finale today in Winterberg, Germany. The 2006 Olympic silver medalists finished just 16 points from the top three in overall standings, concluding the 2007-2008 season ranked fourth overall."I'm happy to be back on the podium again,"Rohbock said at the finish."It's been a tough season, so it feels great to be back on the medal stand for the final race."The American duo finished with a top six result in every World Cup start this season, claiming three medals despite struggling with chronic injuries early in the season. Rohbock and Fleming pushed the third fastest start time of the first heat, a 5.65, for a second place run of 57.87 seconds. Team USA I entered the final heat surrounded by three German teams eager to sweep the podium on their home track. Pushing a 5.69, Rohbock and Fleming slid the fourth best time of the second heat of 57.98 seconds. Finishing with a combined time of 1:55.85, the team finished third for the bronze medal."Shauna was very close today,"said Sepp Plozza, women's bobsled head coach."If she can put both runs together, she will get even closer to Sandra Kiriasis."Reigning Olympic Champion Sandra Kiriasis teamed with Berit Wiacker to claim her fifth gold medal this season today. The German team led the competition with the two fastest runs of the day, a 57.60 and 57.69, for a combined time of 1:55.29 to take the gold. Cathleen Martini and Janine Tischer teamed as GER II to take silver behind their teammates. Sliding the third best time of the first heat, a 57.92, the duo slid past the Americans to finish second after a final run of 57.82 for a combined time of 1:55.74. Kiraisis continues to dominate World Cup standings, winning her sixth consecutive overall World Cup title today with 1735 points. Martini finished the season ranked second with 1649 points, followed by Helen Upperton in third with 1538. Rohbock and Fleming closed the season in fourth place overall, just 16 points from the top three, with 1522. Erin Pac (Farmington, Conn.) finished her first full season as a driver on the World Cup tour today with first-year push athlete Elana Meyers (Douglasville, Ga.) for a seventh place finish. The team powered off the starting block with the fastest start time of the first heat of 5.63 seconds. Pac drove her Bo-Dyn sled to the finish in 58.37 seconds, placing the team in seventh leading into the second heat."It was great to see Erin and Elana with two of the fastest push times,"Plozza said."Erin drove well today, and I'm very happy with their result. This was her first time driving in Winterberg, so after only a few training runs, she was very competitive."Pushing a 5.65 start time, second fastest of the heat, team USA II slid a time of 58.17 seconds, sixth best of the heat. The duo finished with a combined time of 1:56.54, just 0.11 seconds from the top six. Pac closed the season ranked 11th in overall women's bobsled World Cup standings with 1040 points after having slid to five top ten finishes."Erin did not race in Cortina, Italy, so after only seven competitions she did very well in overall standings,"Plozza said."When we return to Lake Placid, N.Y., she will race in the America's Cup, so she may be able to move up one spot in FIBT rank."Women's bobsled will kick off the competition in World Championships on Friday, Feb. 15 at 8:30 am EST in Altenberg, Germany. Don't miss the action LIVE and On-Demand on NBCOlympics.com, as the U.S. vies for the crown."Sandra has dominated the whole season,"Plozza said."The hardest part is coming next week against the Germans in Altenberg. Shauna has only been there once three years ago, and this will be Erin's first time on the track."For complete results of today's race, visit www.bobsleigh.com, the Web site of the Federation International de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganning (FIBT). About the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation'
The United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. The USBSF would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: Allianz Life, Columbia Sportswear Company, Speedo, CW-X, KBC Helmets, ULU Boots, Racing Electronics, Schenker Logistics, Lumber Liquidators and Whelen Engineering. For more information, please visit the USBSF Web site at www.usbsf.com.