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Butner posts career best World Cup finish with Berkeley
CALGARY, Canada (Feb. 10, 2012)–Cory Butner (Yucaipa, Calif.) teamed with 2010 Olympian Chuck Berkeley (Walnut Creek, Calif.) in the two-man bobsled World Cup final tonight to lead the U.S. squad. Butner continues to make gains as a pilot and navigated the team to 13th place on the 1988 Olympic track.
“Every race is still a learning experience,” Butner said. “I actually expected to do better today, but I made some mistakes that were too costly.”
Butner and Berkeley clocked starts of 5.25 and 5.26 seconds to give USA-2 velocity down the course. The crew was just 0.06 seconds from the top 10 after a first run of 55.58, but a skid in the straight leading into the 360-degree Kreisel corner proved detrimental to their time. Butner and Berkeley stopped the clock at 1:51.19 for 13th position.
“That hit and skid in the second run cost us the time we needed to crack into the top ten,” Butner said. “At least I know where we lost it and I know how to fix it, and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do in four-man tomorrow. I feel really fortunate to have a great crew behind me and it’s great having Chuck back in the sled.”
Berkeley took a season off after competing in USA-2 at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and returned to competition with Butner in November. Berkeley helped push Butner to gold and silver medals in the Park City, Utah America’s Cup races, and helped Butner post his career best World Cup two-man finish tonight.
“With Chuck in the back of the sled, I don’t have to worry about a thing,” Butner said. “I trust him and know he’s going to push fast, give us good velocity and ride well. It really takes the pressure off me so I can focus on driving.”
In his second career World Cup event, National Guardsman Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.) again posted a solid result with brakeman Dallas Robinson (Georgetown, Ky.). The duo posted competitive start times of 5.24 and 5.26 seconds for runs of 55.68 and 55.63 seconds, respectively. Cunningham and Robinson clocked a total time of 1:51.31 for 15th position.
Tonight’s medals came down to the wire. Swiss athletes Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter were victorious by a mere 0.01 seconds to secure the overall World Cup title in two-man standings. German Manuel Machata teamed with Andreas Bredau for second place with a combined time of 1:50.15, and teammates Maximilian Arndt and Kevin Kuske were third with a two-run total of 1:50.40.
Hefti medaled in every two-man World Cup race this season to take the crown. Arndt finished second overall, while Russian Alexander Zubkov was third. U.S. pilots Steven Holcomb and John Napier skipped the Canadian races to gain extra training time on the 2012 World Championship track in Lake Placid, N.Y. and finished ninth and 16th in overall standings, respectively.
The World Cup season concludes tomorrow night with the four-man bobsled competition in Calgary, and you can watch the action live by visiting www.fibt.com. For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at email@example.com, or at (518) 354-2250.
1. Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter (SUI) 1:50.14 (55.07, 55.07); 2. Manuel Machata and Andreas Bredau (GER) 1:50.15 (55.12, 55.03); 3. Maximilian Arndt and Kevin Kuske (GER) 1:50.40 (55.15, 55.25);…13. Cory Butner and Chuck Berkeley (USA) 1:51.19 (55.58, 55.61);…15. Nick Cunningham and Dallas Robinson (USA) 1:51.31 (55.68, 55.63);
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.