Hurley again leads USA Skeleton in European Cup with 12th place finish in Latvia
SIGULDA, Latvia (Jan. 20, 2020)– Kristen Hurley (Columbia, Conn.) and Austin McCrary (Colleyville, Texas) finished 12th and 14th, respectively, in the Sigulda European Cup skeleton races held on Jan. 18.
This was Hurley’s first time on the Latvian track, and she said she didn’t know what to expect when she arrived.
“I heard from teammates that it is a difficult track, but I also usually enjoy fast, challenging tracks,” Hurley said. “While I struggled to learn Sigulda in four days, I did enjoy the challenge.”
Hurley posted start time of 5.28 and 5.26 for runs of 54.80 and 54.21 seconds, respectively. She finished 12th with a combined time of 1:49.01,
“I really wanted a top 10 finish today and I’m a bit disappointed that I wasn’t able to do so, but I did improve throughout the week and ended the race with a personal best,” Hurley said. “I’m also glad that my starts are slowly beginning to come back as I struggled concurrently with two different injuries in the first half of the season.”
McCrary had his third best result this season, finishing 14th with a two-run total of 1:44.73. He pushed a 5.12 for a first heat downtime of 52.52 seconds. McCrary was faster in run two with a start of 5.08 and finish time of 52.21 seconds.
Latvia and Russia were the only nations represented on the medal stand in both the women’s and men’s races. Latvia swept the gold medals, with Endija Terauda winning the women’s race in 1:45.67 and Krists Netlaus was victorious in the men’s race with a 1:41.91. Darta Zunte, also from Latvia, claimed the women’s silver medal with a total time of 1:45.88, followed by Russia’s Alina Tararychenkova in third with a 1:45.98. Russian Vladislav Semenov was the men’s silver medalist with a combined time of 1:42.04, while Martins Muizneiks claimed bronze for Latvia in 1:42.99.
The next stop of the skeleton European Cup will be in Altenberg, Germany. McCrary competed in the 2015 European Cup races in Altenberg, while this will be the first time for Hurley.
“This season has been even more demanding than I anticipated,” Hurley said. “It’s hard to prepare yourself for a completely new track each week for two months. Having a few days to figure out 16 curves at high speed is mentally taxing.”
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Women’s skeleton race
1. Endija Terauda (LAT) 1:45.67 (52.71, 52.96); 2. Darta Zunte (LAT) 1:45.88 (53.01, 52.87); 3. Alina Tararychenkova (RUS) 1:45.98 (53.08, 52.90); 12. Kristen Hurley (USA) 1:49.01 (54.80, 54.21);
Men’s skeleton race
1. Krists Netlaus (LAT) 1:41.91 (50.96, 50.95); 2. Vladislav Semenov (RUS) 1:42.04 (50.97, 51.07); 3. Martins Muiznieks (LAT) 1:42.99 (51.39, 51.60); 14. Austin McCrary (USA) 1:44.73 (52.52, 52.21);
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