Skip to content

U.S. bobsled, luge, skeleton continue World Cup selection races

Oct 21, 2013, 1:14 PM EDT

Kate Hansen AP

Several Olympic hopefuls took steps toward Sochi on Sunday and Monday.

The biggest strides came in luge in Park City, Utah, where the fall World Cup teams were named following the final selection races Sunday.

Kate Hansen, sliding with a broken bone in her right foot, completed a sweep of the women’s races to boost her chances of making the U.S. Olympic team.

The 2008 world junior champion said she “T-boned” a wall in training Wednesday, saying she cried and it was the hardest crash of her career.

“Obviously, no one wants to break their foot, but I’m capable of things that I never thought I would be capable of,” Hansen said in a USA Luge interview. “Whether or not the Olympics happen or any of this works out, I think I’ve proven some things to myself and some people that I can do it.”

Hansen is joined on the fall World Cup team by 2010 Olympians Erin Hamlin and Julia Clukey and by Summer Britcher. For the men, 2010 Olympian Chris Mazdzer also swept selection races and is joined by Taylor MorrisJoe Mortensen and Tucker West on the World Cup team.

The doubles World Cup teams are Matt Mortensen and Preston Griffall, Jake Hyrns and Andrew Sherk and Christian Niccum and Jayson Terdiman.

The first luge World Cup is Nov. 16-17 in Lillehammer, Norway, and USA Luge will name its Olympic team in mid-December. It’s expected to be three women, three men and two doubles teams.

In bobsled, 2010 Olympic four-man champion Steve Holcomb finished a sweep of two-man selection races Sunday night in Park City. Holcomb teamed with Chris Fogt one week after riding with Steve Langton.

Holcomb, who was pre-qualified for the World Cup team, completed two runs in 1 minute, 37.20 seconds. Nick Cunningham and Dallas Robinson were second (1:37.55), and Cory Butner and Chuck Berkeley were third (1:37.62).

“I know I need to step up my game because the other drivers are stepping up theirs,” Holcomb said, according to a U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation press release. “This is shaping up to be a solid team trials. We’ve been analyzing the new BMW sleds and making some changes along the way, and hopefully we’ll have it all figured out so we’re ready to go even faster by the time we’re back here for the World Cup.”

It marked the same order of pilot finishes as the first set of selection races in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Oct. 12, leaving a clear picture for three likely U.S. Olympic spots.

The bobsled selection races will finish in Park City on Friday and Saturday with the final women’s race and the men’s four-man races. The national team for upcoming World Cup races will be named Oct. 27. The first World Cup is Nov. 30 in Calgary.

In skeleton, Noelle Pikus-Pace and Matthew Antoine won the first of four national team selection races in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Monday.

Pikus-Pace, the 2013 world silver medalist and a 2010 Olympian, posted runs of 56.80 and 56.45 seconds to finish a comfortable 0.92 seconds ahead of second-place Annie O’Shea in 1:53.25.

“The first week back is always a little nerve-racking,” Pikus-Pace said, according to a USBSF press release. “We are off of the ice for six months, so everyone is anxious to see where they stack up and where off-season training has put them. It’s nice to get the first trips down the track out of the way so we can all look forward to the competitions. After 10 years of sliding, it comes back pretty quickly, but I still feel the butterflies the beginning of each new season.”

Antoine clocked times of 54.81 and 55.20 for a total of 1:50.01, .96 ahead of second-place John Daly, a 2010 Olympian. He feels better after a 2012-13 season hampered by recovery from knee surgery.

“I’ve had one focus and one goal, which was to get back to where I was physically and to get my head back into the game, and I’ve kept my head down working towards that,” Antoine said. “I’ve worked on getting faster and stronger, and never doubted my sliding ability. I want to be my best in Sochi. Last year didn’t go well for me and part of me feels like I’m undervalued heading into the season. Now I can concentrate on the task at hand and continue to get even better.”

Athletes will continue races for 11 national team spots (six men, five women) on Tuesday morning with the second of four runs. Pikus-Pace, 2012 world champion Katie Uhlaender and Daly have byes onto the national team.

Holcomb describes the art of bobsledding

Latest Posts
  1. IPC Sled Hockey World Championship starts Sunday; full broadcast schedule

    Apr 25, 2015, 11:10 AM EDT

    Sled Hockey Getty Images

    The U.S.’ first opponent marks a rematch of the Sochi gold-medal game.

  2. Kirani James breaks Michael Johnson record at Drake Relays

    Apr 25, 2015, 10:33 AM EDT

    Kirani James AP

    Only two men have ever run faster this early in the season.

  3. Bruce Jenner: I’m a woman; Olympians react

    Apr 25, 2015, 8:53 AM EDT

    AP AP

    Jenner explained how he felt different while winning the decathlon at the Montreal 1976 Olympics.

  4. Watch Drake Relays, Penn Relays on NBC Sports Live Extra on Saturday

    Apr 24, 2015, 3:51 PM EDT

    Justin Gatlin Getty Images

    Several Olympic champions are in the fields at the two meets.

  5. Michael Phelps to move to Arizona with coach Bob Bowman

    Apr 24, 2015, 3:50 PM EDT

    AP AP

    Phelps has followed Bowman to an NCAA stop before.

  6. Simone Biles discusses Martha Karolyi’s team selfie, U.S. teammates, more

    Apr 24, 2015, 12:24 PM EDT

    AP AP

    Biles is in the middle of a four-month break from competition.

  7. Sled hockey helps Josh Sweeney in his recovery (video)

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:09 AM EDT

    Josh Sweeney Getty Images

    Sweeney and Team USA begin World Championship play Sunday.

  8. Tara Lipinski, Johnny Weir headed to White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Kentucky Derby

    Apr 24, 2015, 10:26 AM EDT

    Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski Getty Images

    NBC’s figure skating analysts will be visible daily during Kentucky Derby week.

  9. New MLB commissioner wants long-term baseball pledge from Olympics

    Apr 23, 2015, 4:51 PM EDT

    AP AP

    But he also shares the sentiment of Bud Selig on MLB participation.

  10. Doug E. Doug reflects on ‘Cool Runnings’

    Apr 23, 2015, 2:25 PM EDT

    Doug E. Doug Getty Images

    Doug wasn’t allowed to bobsled while filming, but he recently took his first run.

  11. Meb Keflezighi hopes to be an example for Ryan Hall as Olympic trials approach

    Apr 23, 2015, 12:29 PM EDT

    AP AP

    “It depends who you ask,” Keflezighi said of the U.S. Olympic Trials favorite.

  12. U.S. Olympic Wrestling Trials to return to Iowa City

    Apr 23, 2015, 9:02 AM EDT

    Jordan Burroughs Getty Images

    Two Olympic champions appear headed for a second Olympics, while a World champion seeks a first Olympic berth.

  13. Paul Wylie ‘resting comfortably’ after heart problem

    Apr 22, 2015, 3:12 PM EDT

    Paul Wylie Getty Images

    Wylie had a “heart abnormality while exercising,” his wife said.

  14. Nadia Comaneci: Simone Biles’ difficulty is almost equal to men

    Apr 22, 2015, 2:40 PM EDT

    Nadia Comaneci Getty Images

    Comaneci, the subject of a Katie Holmes-directed documentary, discussed current gymnastics topics.

  15. Larry Bird, David Ortiz among Boston 2024 board of directors

    Apr 22, 2015, 12:21 PM EDT

    Larry Bird Getty Images

    U.S. Olympic marathon and figure skating medalists are also in the group.

  16. Ten sports where Brazil can win medals at Rio 2016

    Apr 22, 2015, 11:48 AM EDT

    Arthur Zanetti Getty Images

    Included are some potential U.S.-Brazil duels.

  17. Sweden mulls 2026 Winter Olympic bid

    Apr 22, 2015, 9:11 AM EDT

    Sweden Getty Images

    Sweden scrapped a bid for 2022, and a joint Norway-Sweden bid has also been proposed.

  18. Figure skaters recall odd gifts from fans

    Apr 21, 2015, 3:51 PM EDT

    Figure skating gifts Getty Images

    Michelle Kwan, Meryl Davis, Evan Lysacek and more Olympians tell their memorable stories.