Holcomb sweeps Calgary World Cup | ParkRecord.com

Holcomb sweeps Calgary World Cup

Stephen Holcomb and his four-man bobsled crew slide down the track in Calgary, Canada. Photo courtesy of Charlie Booker

Submitted by U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation

CALGARY, Canada It’s been three years since Steven Holcomb (Park City) has been on top of the podium in a four-man bobsled World Cup competition. Gold had eluded the Olympic champion since a November 2010 win in Whistler, Canada, until Saturday. Holcomb teamed with Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.), Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.) and Chris Fogt (Alpine, Utah) to complete a sweep of the Calgary event by following up his two-man win Friday night with a four-man victory Saturday.

"It’s been a fantastic weekend," Holcomb said. "It’s Olympic year, and this is when it counts. Walking away from the season opener with two gold medals feels really good."

USA-1 set the pace in the first heat with a start time of 5.04 seconds and a run of 54.08 seconds. The Night Train II team was just 0.08 seconds ahead of the field going into the final run.

"We knew we didn’t meet our potential in the first run and that we had to blow it out in the second run if we were going to keep our spot," Tomasevicz said.

Determined to maintain position, USA-1 powered off the start block in 5.01 seconds, fastest in the competition. Holcomb took advantage of the lead and posted a second run of 54.48 seconds for the victory.

"My team has been chomping at the bit to compete, and they did what they needed to do to keep us ahead," Holcomb said. "The other teams are here to win, just like we are, and they aren’t going to go down easily. We need to be on our game, and I think we did that today."

Holcomb and crew won by 0.09 seconds with a two-run total of 1:48.56. German driver Maximilian Arndt and Russian pilot Alexander Zubkov slid a combined time of 1:48.65 to tie for second place. Arndt teamed with Marko Huebenbecker, Alexander Roediger and Martin Putze for runs of 54.14 and 54.51 seconds. Zubkov clocked times of 54.16 and 54.49 with his crew of Alexey Negodaylo, Dmitry Trunenkov and Maxim Mokrousov.

"It blows my mind that after two runs teams can be tied," Holcomb said. "No one is slouching this year. You have to want and take every hundredth to win."

The Latvian crew led by Oskars Melbardis, who is normally a contender for the medals, was disqualified after the first heat for being overweight.

Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.), Dallas Robinson (Georgetown, Ky.), Johnny Quinn (McKinney, Texas) and Abe Morlu (Phoenix, Ariz.) were within striking distance of a top-six finish, but a late load in the final run held the team back from a podium finish. Cunningham navigated the Century 21 sled to 12th with a total time of 1:49.22 after clocking runs of 54.27 and 54.95 seconds.

Cory Butner (Yucaipa, Calif.) slipped while loading into the sled in the first heat, but his powerful push crew of Chuck Berkeley (Walnut Creek, Calif.), Andreas Drbal (Belmont, Calif.) and Chris Langton (Melrose, Mass.) mustered an impressive push time of 5.09 seconds. Butner corrected his mistake in the second run, and he piloted the CEVA sled to the finish in 54.53 and 54.82 seconds for a total time of 1:49.35 for 15th place.

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