Hurley leads USA Skeleton in Igls European Cup races
IGLS, Austria (Jan. 14, 2020)– Kristen Hurley (Columbia, Conn.) and Austin McCrary (Colleyville, Texas) represented USA Skeleton in the Igls European Cup races from Jan. 10-11. Hurley finished 15th and 18th in the women’s races, while McCrary was 21st and 23rd in the men’s field.
This was Hurley’s first time racing in Igls as a skeleton competitor. She was a bobsled push athlete in the 2016 European Cup, where she finished seventh as a push athlete for Katie Eberling in women’s bobsled. She was also a member of Elana Meyers Taylor’s four-man bobsled team that finished 27th and 29th. Eberling and Hurley again paired together later in 2016 for the World Championship team event in Igls. They raced with a mixed team of athletes from various nations and finished 11th.
The Igls races were Hurley’s sixth and seventh races of the season, and her fifth new track.
“It’s already pretty challenging to learn a track in four days,” Hurley wrote on her Instagram page.
“I made significant improvements throughout the week and dropped over three seconds off my time in the last four days,” Hurley wrote.
Hurley finished 18th with a combined time of 1:51.93 in the first women’s race. She clocked start times of 5.61 and 5.58 for runs of 56.05 and 55.88 seconds, respectively. Hurley moved up into 15th on day two with a total time of 1:51.78. This time she clocked starts of 5.62 and 5.65 for downtimes of 55.99 and 55.79.
“Those finishes sound pretty terrible– and I’d be lying if I didn’t expect better of myself,” Hurley wrote. “It was a deep field that included World Cup athlete, and nearly all the others had trained and raced here before. Regardless of the numbers, I’m proud of myself for working as hard as I could to figure this track out with extremely limited practice opportunities, minimal feedback, and nagging injuries that have hampered my starts since October. If I have the opportunity to race here again in the future, I’ll be excited to continue to improve on my times and results.”
Russian Alina Tararychenkova won the first race in 1:48.87, followed by Italy’s Alessia Crippa in second with a total time of 1:49.12, and Valentina Margaglio in third with a 1:49.45. Amelia Coltman from Great Britain was the second race winner with a two-run total of 1:49.25. Crippa again finished second, this time with a 1:49.45, while Tararychenkova raced to third in 1:49.52.
McCrary struggled in the men’s field, finishing 23rd and 21st. He’s only raced in Igls once before, when he finished 14th in the 2012 Junior World Championships. McCrary missed the top-20 cutoff in both races with downtimes of 54.44 and 54.46 seconds.
Italian Amedeo Bagnis swept the men’s races with combined time of 1:46.09 and 1:46.50. Hiroatsu Takahashi from Japan earned the silver medal in race one with a total time of 1:46.67, followed by Germany’s Felix Seibel in third with an aggregate time of 1:46.48. British competitor Matt Weston claimed silver in race two with a two-run total of 1:46.64, and Takahashi was third in 1:46.85.
The skeleton portion of the European Cup moves to Sigulda, Latvia this week, which will be a new track for both Hurley. McCrary raced the 2015 European Cup in Latvia. Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or firstname.lastname@example.org, with media inquiries.
Women’s skeleton race #1
1. Alina Tararychenkova (RUS) 1:48.87 (54.61, 54.26); 2. Alessia Crippa (ITA) 1:49.12 (54.60, 54.52); 3. Valentina Margaglio (ITA) 1:49.45 (54.71, 54.74); 18. Kristen Hurley (USA) 1:51.93 (56.05, 55.88);
Women’s skeleton race #2
1. Amelia Coltman (GBR) 1:49.25 (54.74, 54.51); 2. Alessia Crippa (ITA) 1:49.45 (54.89, 54.56); 3. Alina Tararychenkova (RUS) 1:49.52 (54.89, 54.63); 15. Kristen Hurley (USA) 1:51.78 (55.99, 55.79);
Men’s skeleton race #1
1. Amedeo Bagnis (ITA) 1:46.09 (53.33, 52.76); 2. Felix Seibel (GER) 1:46.48 (53.38, 53.10); 3. Hiroatsu Takahashi (JPN) 1:46.67 (53.30, 53.37); 23. Austin McCrary (USA) (54.44, DNS);
Men’s skeleton race #2
1. Amedeo Bagnis (ITA) 1:46.50 (53.40, 53.10); 2. Matt Weston (GBR) 1:46.64 (53.68, 52.96); 3. Hiroatsu Takahashi (JPN) 1:46.85 (53.64, 53.21); 21. Austin McCrary (USA) (54.46, DNS);
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Source: Team USA