Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager
(518) 354-2250, firstname.lastname@example.org
Seventh and ninth place finishes for World Cup rookies
WHISTLER, Canada (Feb. 4, 2012)–Rookie pilots Cory Butner (Yucaipa, Calif.) and Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.) capped the Whistler World Cup tonight with strong performances in the four-man bobsled race. Butner and Cunningham battled a field of experienced drivers and posted respectable finishes of seventh and ninth, respectively.
“I’m very happy,” Butner said. “Today was redemption day after yesterday’s two-man race. This is a fun track and you definitely have to drive. I made some mistakes in corner 13 all week, but I got it today. It definitely feels good.”
Butner teamed with Laszlo Vandracsek (Phoenix, Ariz.), Johnny Quinn (McKinney, Texas) and Caleb Pelger (Cleveland, Ohio) to lead the young U.S. team. The squad clocked starts of 4.91 and 4.90 seconds for runs of 51.96 and 52.05 to finish just one position behind Germany’s Manuel Machata, who earned bronze in the Whistler four-man race last season. USA-1 posted a combined time of 1:44.01 for seventh place.
“We were looking at the time sheet after the first run to see who we could catch, and we were only fourteen-hundredths out of fifth place,” Butner. “I wanted to sneak in there ahead of Machata. We weren’t able to gain any spots, but a seventh place finish on World Cup is something I can definitely be happy with.”
National Guardsman Cunningham made his four-man bobsled World Cup debut tonight with teammates Adam Blandford (West Chester, Ohio), Kevin Ives (Stafford, Va.) and Dallas Robinson (Georgetown, Ky.). USA-2 pushed off the block in 4.92 and 4.91 seconds for runs of 52.19 and 51.94 seconds. The team was in eighth position after the first heat, but they lost time against the British team piloted by John Jackson and dropped into ninth with a two-run total of 1:44.13.
“I’m so happy to have been given this opportunity to come out here and race,” Cunningham said. “I’m satisfied with how we did here, and now we move onto Calgary. I’ve already raced there on the America’s Cup tour this season, so I feel like I’m already a few steps ahead.”
Russia earned gold and silver in tonight’s race to display their strength leading up to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in their home country. Alexander Zubkov led RUS-1 to the lead with a combined time of 1:42.46, while RUS-2 pilot Alexander Kasjanov trailed by 0.14 seconds for second place. Lyndon Rush claimed bronze for the host nation after clocking a combined time of 1:42.62.
Tonight’s race concludes the Whistler event, and action will continue in Calgary, Canada next week. Cunningham and Butner collectively claimed six medals during the America’s Cup races held in Calgary earlier this season and hope to improve on their performances in Whistler. For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at email@example.com, or at (518) 354-2250.
1. Zubkov, Egorov, Trunenkov and Mokrous (RUS) 1:42.46 (51.21, 51.25); 2. Kasjanov, Moiseychenkov, Belugin and Hrenkov (RUS) 1:42.60 (51.32, 51.28); 3. Rush, Lumdsen, Sorensen and Wright (CAN) 1:42.62 (51.32, 51.30);…7. Butner, Vandracsek, Quinn and Pelger (USA) 1:44.01 (51.96, 52.05);…9. Cunningham, Blandford, Ives and Robinson (USA) 1:44.13 (52.19, 51.94);
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: BMW of North America, Under Armour, United States National Guard, Kampgrounds of America, National Strength and Conditioning Association, Vivat!, Global Forwarding, KBC Helmets, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.