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Bascue and Taylor top U.S. bobsledders in Junior World Championships
IGLS, Austria (Jan. 28, 2012)– Codie Bascue (Whitehall, N.Y.) and Jake Peterson (Princeton, Minn.) piloted two-man bobsleds against a field of fierce competitors for a chance to claim the 2012 Junior World Championship title in Igls, Austria today. Bascue and Peterson were teammates in the Youth Olympic Games in Igls last week, but the pair competed against each other today so the U.S. could enter two teams. Bascue and Nic Taylor (Hayward, Calif.) led the U.S. squad with a 13th place finish, while Peterson and Dakarai Kongela (Suquamish, Wash.) finished 21st.
“These are two of the youngest teams we’ve ever sent to the Junior World Championships, and they did a great job against the more experienced Europeans,” said Darrin Steele, Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation. “Both pilots continue to improve, and we’re excited about their future in the sport.”
Athletes age 26 and younger were granted the opportunity to compete, which included World Cup medalists Oskars Melbardis from Latvia and Benjamin Schmid from Germany. Melbardis teamed with Janis Strenga to convincingly take the lead with a combined time of 1:46.17. Schmid and Marko Huebenbecker were 0.28 seconds behind to claim the silver medal, while Ivo de Bruin and Bror van der Zijde from the Netherlands earned bronze with a two-run total of 1:46.83.
Bascue teamed with rookie Taylor to finish 13th with a combined time of 1:48.07, finishing four spots ahead of the Youth Olympic Games champion Patrick Baumgartner from Italy. Bascue and Taylor clocked push times of 5.41 and 5.40 seconds to show considerable improvement from last week.
"I'm extremely excited about how NIc and I performed today," Bascue said. "Our push was a tenth faster than any push during training, and I am very proud of Nic.
"My driving in the first run was very good, but my second run was the most perfect I have been in any run on any track ever. Nic and I both put every bit of our heart into the race today, and I couldn't be any happier with how it ended up. I look forward to seeing what the two of us can do for years to come."
Peterson and first-year brakeman Kongela were in the mix off the block with a start time of 5.40 seconds. With just a handful of runs to learn the track as a driver, Peterson navigated his sled to the finish in 54.37 seconds for 21st position, just missing the cut for a second run by one spot. USA-2 finished ahead of Youth Olympic Games silver medalist Benjamin Maier, who could only muster 24th place on his home track, and Youth Olympic Games bronze medalist Rudy Rinaldi from Monaco, who finished 23rd.
"The race was great for having so few runs on the track," Peterson said. "Kongela definitely pushed great today, and I am very proud of his performance. I look forward to the upcoming Junior Worlds in my career, and I hope I can continue to improve my standings in the future."
For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at email@example.com, or at (518) 354-2250.
1. Oskars Melbardis and Janis Strenga (LAT) 1:46.17 (53.04, 53.13); 2. Benjamin Schmid and Marko Huebenbecker (GER) 1:46.45 (53.28, 53.17); 3. Ivo de Bruin and Bror van der Zijde (NED) 1:46.83 (53.37, 53.46);…13. Codie Bascue and Nic Taylor (USA) 54.16, 53.91);…21. Jake Peterson and Dakarai Kongela (USA) (54.37, DNS);
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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.