Americans win bobsled race |

Americans win bobsled race

Jay Noller and his crew push their sled down the Utah Olympic Park track. Christopher Reeves/The Park Record

Wednesday’s North American Cup bobsled race at the Utah Olympic Park got off to a rocky start for the American sled of Codie Bascue, Sam Michener, Thomas White and Nathan Weber.

Scheduled to start at 10 a.m., only two sleds, Bascue’s and fellow American Jay Noller’s sled, were able to complete runs before the track was shut down and races delayed for two hours.

"When I first went down, I saw a concrete patch in [turn] six," Bascue said. "I got out of the sled immediately and checked the runners, and of course, I hit concrete."

So, Bascue and his crew were busy repairing the damage during the delay, trying to prepare the sled for its third race. Bascue, the driver for the team, took silver in the first four-man race and gold in the second.

Michener said he didn’t know what to expect when the track hold was lifted and the races got underway again.

"We all thought the track would get slower," he said. "It actually got faster."

With the increased speed, several sleds toppled over before reaching the finish line.

"That’s just how it happens," Michener said. "Sometimes a bunch of guys will crash, sometimes you’ll have races where no one crashes."

Bascue and his crew were on their game all afternoon though, battling their way to a first-place finish to grab their second gold medal of the week. After a first-run time of 48.05 seconds, they crossed the line in 48.17 seconds in the second run to claim first place with an overall time of 1:36.22.

The British sled driven by Lamin Deen was in first place after the first run, turning in a time of 47.84 seconds. But, in the second run, Deen’s seld toppled over exiting the last turn, dropping the team to an 11th-place finish.

In a show of sportsmanship, Bascue and his crew, who were anxiously waiting to see Deen’s results at the finish line, sprinted to the aid of their fellow competitors when Deen’s sled slowly slid across the finish line on its side.

For a team that was racing together for the first time, the results left Bascue and Michener confident for future races.

"Sam and Nate were with me in Calgary, but this was the first time we’ve had Thomas on the sled," Bascue said. "We molded together quickly and it really showed toward the end of the week."

"Things are going really well," Michener added. "We’ve got a fast sled and a good crew. We’re getting better every race. The way things are going, it’s going to be a good season."

The North American Cup continues in Lake Placid this week, beginning Dec. 1. Bascue, a Lake Placid native, hopes to keep the good results coming.

"I’m excited to see what we can do on my home track," he said. "I usually drive pretty well there I’ve been on it since I was eight."

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