Mystique Ro sweeps NAC skeleton races
LAKE PLACID — With the bobsled and skeleton season coming to an end, Mystique Ro, of Nokesville, Virginia, put on a dominating performance this weekend.
The 28-year-old slider swept both women’s skeleton races on Saturday and Sunday during the North American Cup in Lake Placid.
“It’s nice to see that after a long season, I still can put together a couple of good runs and be consistent and have a fast pushed to put everyone in the mix,” Ro said.
She won Saturday’s race in a blazing two-run time of 1 minute, 50.24 seconds. Ro then followed that up with a win on Sunday in 1:52.32 at Mount Van Hoevenberg.
“This is my home track, so it’s nice to end on a good note and to kick off the offseason with something very positive,” she said.
The NAC races were the last event on the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton calendar. Ro finished the season with three Europe Cups and two Intercontinental Cup wins. She said it’s nice to see the culmination of the progress that she has made this season.
On Saturday, Ro posted the two fastest run times en route to the NAC win, but after that race, she said she felt really tired and didn’t know if she could repeat her performance on Sunday.
“I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to have the pushes I need,” Ro said. “But coming in today — well-rested — I felt a lot more positive about my prep work and just being able to relax and to enjoy it and just have fun, which is what sliding is. Just having fun.”
Great Britain’s Freya Tarbit took second place on Saturday in a time of 1:51.86, while her teammate Amelia Coltman was third in 1:52.28. On Sunday, Coltman (1:53.64) edged out Tarbit (1:54.17) to earn second, while Tarbit was third.
Team USA’s Michelle Toukan finished in fourth place on both days. Toukan finished with times of 1:52.44 on Saturday and 1:55.15 on Sunday.
On the men’s side, Great Britain’s Jacob Salisbury completed a skeleton sweep on Saturday and Sunday. He won Saturday’s race in 1:47.91, before taking Sunday’s race in a time of 1:50.72.
Canada’s Kyle Donsberger finished in second place on Saturday in 1:49.27. The Canadian also finished in third place on Sunday in 1:51.03. Switzerland’s Livio Summermatter placed third in Saturday’s race in a time of 1:49.46.
Bradley Nicol, of Springville, Utah, was the lone American to earn a podium finish in the men’s skeleton events. He finished in second place on Sunday, which was by far his best career result.
“Last year on the NAC I was fighting just to not take last place,” Nicol said, “so to even take second today was a huge fill to me.”
Nicol, 23, recorded the fastest first-heat time, which put him in first place. But on the second run, he had the third fastest run-time, which dropped him into second place overall. He finished with a time of 1:50.86.
“I didn’t know how to handle those emotions,” he said. “I’ve never been in that position before and I’m just grateful that I was able to finish the race.”
Despite recording a career-best finish to end the season, Nicol said all he is thinking about right now is heading back home and seeing his wife.
“That’s all I want right now,” Nicol said. “We’ll start thinking about the next season starting next week.”
Australia’s Breeana Walker opened up the first of two NAC monobob races with a first-place finish on Thursday. Walker finished with a two-run time of 2:01.79.
German’s Laura Nolte (2:02.02) and Lisa Buckwitz (2:03.19) placed second and third, respectively.(2:01.79).
On Friday, Nolte took first place in 2:00.63, while Walker (2:00.70) was second and Buckwitz (2:02.01) was third.
Team USA’s Riley Compton earned fourth place on both days, while Lauren Brzozowski earned fifth place twice. Sylvia Hoffman placed seventh on Thursday and Friday.
Team USA’s Frank Del Duca and Darius Joseph earned first place in the two-man bobsled race on Thursday, finishing with a combined time of 1:54.29. Team USA’s Geoffrey Gadbois and Paul Rabic (1:54.39) finished in second, while Canada’s Pat Norton and Keaton Bruggeling (1:54.50) placed third.
Norton and Bruggeling won Friday’s event in 1:52.98. Del Duca and Joseph took second in 1:53.04 and Gadbois and Rabic were third in 1:53.46.