Church, Williamson, Reed and Horn sixth in Koenigssee’s four-man bobsled World Cup
KOENIGSSEE, Germany (Jan. 26, 2020)– Hunter Church (Cadyville, N.Y.) was back in the medal hunt with Josh Williamson (Lake Mary, Fla.), Jimmy Reed (Garmisch, Germany) and Kris Horn (Pembroke, Mass.) today, finishing sixth in the four-man bobsled World Cup in Koenigssee.
“At this point in his career, his first time ever on this track, a stop six finish is a win,” said USA Bobsled Head Coach Mike Kohn. “It’s another step in the right direction, and if he continues to stay focused in the years to come like he is now, he’ll be fighting for gold every week.”
“I’ve heard nothing but praise from coaches of other nations that have watched Hunter (Church) week in and week out learn these tracks and put down some solid finishes,” added USA Bobsled Driving Coach Brian Shimer. “I’m super proud of him, and so proud of this team. This team has created a great atmosphere for Hunter to blossom.”
Today’s first heat was Church’s 11th run ever on the Koenigssee track. Church said he had a difficult time dialing it in before race day.
“This has been the most challenging track to learn so far, and I really struggled this week,” Church said. “It’s so different than any track I’ve been on before, and it’s the first real Kreisel I’ve ever driven.”
It was another tightly packed race that would come down to the hundredth for a podium spot. Church, Williamson, Reed and Horn powered the Under Armour branded sled off the block in 4.87 seconds, giving Church an advantage with the third fastest time of the field. Despite his inexperience, he piloted the crew to the finish with the fifth best time of 48.71 seconds to put the team in medal contention once again.
A mere 0.08 seconds separated the Americans from the medals. Latvia’s Oskars Kibermanis and Germany’s Nico Walther were tied for sixth behind team Church with a run of 48.77 seconds.
“There are definitely guys with more experience, but I think I have a good feel for driving and there’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to come out here to compete,” Church said.
Church, Williamson, Reed and Horn posted another impressive start time of 4.86 seconds, and Church navigated the crew to the finish in 48.85 seconds. Walther dropped back, but Kibermanis responded to the challenge and moved ahead of the Americans. While Church, Williamson, Reed and Horn were disappointed to not reach the medals, they collected another top six finish against an experienced and accomplished field. The U.S. crew finished sixth with a combined time of 1:37.56.
“All of the credit today goes to my guys. I didn’t drive super great, but they did absolutely incredible giving me an advantage from the start with those push times,” Church said.
Francesco Friedrich, Candy Bauer, Martin Grothkopp and Alexander Schueller of Germany did it again, winning their fourth four-man race of the season with a combined time of 1:37.03. Johannes Lochner, Benedikt Hertel, Christopher Weber and Florian Bauer claimed the silver medal for team Germany with a two-run total of 1:37.13. Canadians Justin Kripps, Ryan Sommer, Benjamin Coakwell and Cameron Stones earned bronze in 1:37.29.
The tour moved on to its seventh of eight stops in St. Moritz, Switzerland next week. Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or firstname.lastname@example.org, with media inquiries.
1. Francesco Friedrich, Candy Bauer, Alexander Schueller and Martin Grothkopp (GER) 1:37.03 (48.59, 48.44); 2. Johannes Lochner, Christopher Weber, Benedikt Hertel and Florian Bauer (GER) 1:37.13 (48.55, 48.58); 3. Justin Kripps, Benjamin Coakwell, Ryan Sommer and Cameron Stones (CAN) 1:37.29 (48.63, 48.66); 6. Hunter Church, Josh Williamson, Jimmy Reed and Kris Horn (USA) 1:37.56 (48.71, 48.85);
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