Antoine finishes ninth as top American in Austria

IGLS, Austria — Matt Antoine once again led USA Skeleton with a ninth-place finish in this morning’s men’s skeleton World Cup in Igls, Austria.

“Overall my results have been somewhere around seventh to 10th each week and I can’t seem to break out of it,” Antoine said. “My push times weren’t amazing, but they are what I expected and I’m not disappointed with my push, so that’s one positive to take away. Something has to change going into the second half. I’m not interested in going to Korea to fight for a top-10, I expect more of myself.”

Today was Antoine’s fourth top-10 finish this season. His best result was seventh last week in Winterberg, Germany, and he’s had two eighth-place finishes, today’s ninth, and a 12th place result. The 2014 Olympic medalist is looking forward to the upcoming holiday break, when he’ll be splitting time between his home in Arizona and with family in Wisconsin.

“It’ll be good to get a little reset,” Antoine said. “I’m hoping to come back refreshed for the second half.”

Antoine started today’s campaign for the podium with a start time of 5.03 seconds and a finish of 53.77, placing him in the running for a top-six. He bettered his start to 4.99 in run two, but his sled exited the start grooves early. Antoine said it wasn’t problematic, and he was able to make a quick correction. He clocked a second run time of 53.60 seconds to finish ninth with a total time of 1:47.37.

Latvian Martins Dukurs won his second race of the season, topping Korean Sungbin Yun with a combined downtime of 1:46.03 and the fastest start times of each heat, 4.90 and 4.85, respectively. Yun finished in 1:46.18, while Nikita Tregubov of Russia took third in 1:46.52.

John Daly (Smithtown, New York) narrowly missed another top-10 finish today with a combined time of 1:47.51 for 11th place. Daly posted start times of 5.03 and 5.04 for runs of 53.93 and 53.58 seconds, respectively. The two-time Olympian continues to fight his way back after a two-year hiatus from the sport. Today was just his sixth World Cup competition since the 2014 Olympic season.

Greg West (Springfield, Missouri) finished 19th with a two-run total time of 1:48.00. West stepped on his sled at the start in the first heat, resulting in a push time of 5.14 and the 19th best finish time of 54.25 seconds. He entered the final heat tied with Canadian Kevin Boyer, but the American bettered his start to 5.07 and improved his finish to 53.75 to break the tie for 19th.