National Bobsleigh and Skeleton Champions Crowned in Calgary
October 20, 2012
—Humphries and Valouis, Spring and Rosenke, Reid and Neilson slide to gold—
CALGARY—A combination of veteran and rookie names will go into the history books as the 2012-13 Canadian Champions in bobsleigh and skeleton following the national competition on the Olympic Track in Calgary Saturday.
Olympic champion, Kaillie Humphries, teamed up with rookie brakeman, Chelsea Valouis, of Wakaw, Sask., powered through snowy conditions to win the women’s bobsleigh race with a two-run time of 1:56.53.
“We were close to pushing a start record for this track so it was a really good day for us,” said Humphries following her fourth national title. “There was lots of snow on the first run and then the track sped up. I know Chelsea was a little nervous. This was the 15th and 16th time she has been down a bobsleigh track so it was great to see her do well. We have lots of work ahead of us but we are excited for the season.”
Edmonton’s Jenny Ciochetti teamed up with Calgary’s Kate O’Brien to finish second at 1:57.87, while Calgary’s Rosalyn Nykolichuk and Winnipeg’s Chelsea Karpenko locked up the bronze medal with a time of 2:00.45.
Meanwhile, Calgary’s Chris Spring showed he is back on track after horrific crash in Germany last January that sidelined him for the remainder of the season by winning his first Canadian Championship. The 28-year-old Spring joined forces with Adam Rosenke to post a winning time of 1:53.94.
“This was the start I was planning for coming back to the sport after my injury,” said Spring. “It was bittersweet with Team Rush not in the race, but Justin Kripps and his team have been keeping me honest since day one this year. I think the real winner today is Bobsleigh Canada. There are so many good athletes coming through the program and it makes me happy to see the camaraderie between all of the athletes.”
Kripps and brakeman, Nick Carrier, grabbed the silver medal with a time of 1:54.58, while Chris Korol, of Hamilton, and Ben Klepacki slid third place at 1:56.22.
Canada’s top skeleton athletes hit the track Saturday afternoon. Three Calgarians
Grabbed the hardware in the women’s race. Sarah Reid locked up her first national title with times of 59.20 and 59.92. Cassie Hawrysh was second (59.32/59.92), while Lanette Prediger placed third (59.16/1:00.89).
Eric Neilson, of Kelowna, B.C., slid to his second-straight national title in the men’s race with times of 57.99 and 58.20. Dan Greszczyszyn slid to the silver medal after clocking times of 58.13 and 58.66. Calgary’s John Fairbairn rounded out the podium in third (58.16/58.73).
The Canadian Championships wrap up on Sunday with the four-man bobsleigh race. Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton will name its World Cup bobsleigh squad on October 30, and its skeleton team on October 31.
Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton is a non-profit organization and the national governing body for the sports of bobsleigh and skeleton in Canada. With the support of its valued corporate partners – Dow Chemical, Adidas, KBC Helmets, Eurotech – Viking Engineering, SAIT Polytechnic, Conceptum Sport Logistics, Therapeutica – along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton develops Olympic and world champions. Please visit us at www.bobsleighcanadaskeleton.ca.