North American Cup bobsled, skeleton races conclude in Lake Placid

LAKE PLACID — Hunter Church, Dakota Lynch, Blaine McConnell and Adrian Adams finished out USA Bobsled National Team Trials as the top American sled after a silver medal performance in Thursday’s four-man bobsled competition in the Lake Placid North American Cup. 

Katie Uhlaender and Mystique Ro collected gold and silver medals, respectively, in Thursday’s women’s skeleton race to bring the U.S. medal total to 11.

“This was a super fun race,” said Church, of Cadyville. “We are looking forward to having the opportunity to build with the guys going into the World Cup season. Everyone rallied together at the beginning of the season to make this a success.”

Church, Lynch, McConnell and Adams pushed start times of 5.17 and 5.19 seconds, and Church piloted his four-man bobsled to the finish in 54.58, 54.98 seconds, respectively. The American crew clocked a combined time of 1:49.56 to secure the silver medal.

“It was tough summer,” Church said. “I had a calf tear in August that set me back, but I’m feeling really good right now. Working with Dr. Mara Smith, our team’s mental strength and conditioning coach, has been huge. She’s been such a big contribution to my success.”

Canadians Justin Kripps, Ryan Sommer, Benjamin Coakwell and Cameron Stones claimed the gold medal in 1:49.22. Michael Vogt, Oliver Gyger, Silvio Weber and Andrea Orsinger from Switzerland slid to the finish in 1:49.69 to secure bronze. 

Geoff Gadbois, Chris Avery, Kris Horn and Michael Fogt finished 13th with a two-run total of 1:51.08. The crew posted an identical start time of 5.24 seconds for runs of 55.50 and 55.58 seconds. 

Codie Bascue, of Whitehall, who has a national team spot secured from his USA Bobsled National Championship win in March, did not race Thursday due to a hamstring injury sustained two days ago in the two-man competition.

Team USA athletes claimed two medals in the women’s skeleton race. Uhlaender was again dominant, clocking the fastest downtimes of 55.33 and 55.68 seconds for the victory. The three-time Olympian was 0.22 seconds ahead of Anna Fernstaedtova from the Czech Republic. 

Ro was powerful at the start, powering off the block in 5.24 and 5.26 seconds for the quickest push times of the competition. The up-and-coming athlete was tied for second after a first heat of 55.52, and finished third for her first international medal of the season with a total time of 1:51.88.

Lauren McDonald finished 10th, and Michelle Toukan was 20th.

Daniel Barefoot had an outstanding performance in the men’s race, narrowly missing the medals in fourth place with a combined time of 1:49.66. Barefoot was third after a first run of 54.37 seconds, but he fell back into fourth with a second heat of 55.29 seconds. He clocked starts of 5.00 and 4.99 seconds.

Zack Goodwin, of Poughkeepsie, finished ninth as the second ranked American, and Hunter Williams was 18th.

Wengang Yan from China was victorious in 1:48.16. Martin Rosenberger claimed silver for Germany with a total time of 1:49.01, while Nathan Crumpton from American Samoa claimed bronze in 1:49.08.

Thursday was the final day of the Lake Placid North American Cup. The USA Bobsled National Team for the 2019-2020 season was scheduled to be named Thursday night.


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