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American Forces Press Service
LAKE PLACID, N.Y., Feb. 25, 2009 –
Two Utah Army National Guard members won second- and third-place medals in the world championship bobsled competition at the Olympic Sports Complex here.
Army Spc. Shauna Rohbock and her teammate, Elana Meyers, won silver medals Feb. 21 in the women’s bobsled event.
“It’s really hard to have four consistent heats,” Rohbock said. “This track changes a lot, so you have to constantly change your driving. My goal was to be on the podium here, so I’m happy. This is my home track, and I wanted to be on the podium more than anything.”
Team Rohbock was in the lead entering the final two heats, and nabbed the silver medal with a four-run combined time of 3 minutes, 48.60 seconds. Rohbock navigated her Bo-Dyn sled down the 20 curves of the winding course in 57.12 and 57.43 seconds for the third and fourth runs.
Meyers and Valerie Fleming have alternated as push athletes in Rohbock’s sled throughout the season. Rohbock, a former professional soccer player, most recently won gold with Meyers on the 2010 Olympic track in Whistler, British Columbia. Rohbock and Fleming claimed the Olympic silver medal in 2006.
In the men’s competition, former Utah Guardsman Steven Holcomb teamed with Curt Tomasevicz to claim the bronze in the two-man bobsled world championships.
"I just won my first world championship medal," Holcomb said. "I'm really excited, but of course I wish it was gold."
Holcomb entered the day's final two heats in fourth position, but immediately moved into medal position in his first heat with a run of 55.41 seconds. Holcomb and Tomasevicz dug their sled out of the start with a push time of 5.16 seconds in the final heat.
Holcomb was four hundredths of a second out of the medals exiting corner 14, but made up a tenth of a second before crossing the finish line in 55.79 seconds for his first world championship medal.
Vermont National Guard Pfc. John Napier teamed with T.J. Burns to finish 17th with a combined time of 3:45.17 after sliding runs of 56.25 and 56.37 seconds. Napier had been battling the flu throughout the week, but managed to muster push times of 5.37 and 5.33 with Burns. Napier and teammate Cory Butner won the two-man title for the national bobsled championships here Jan. 4.
"My legs aren't under me yet," Napier said of his Feb. 22 showing. "T.J. did as much as he could to help me, but I had nothing left."
The U.S. men and women combined forces to claim bronze in the world championship team event Feb. 22 here to conclude the first weekend of competitions.
The United States has won three medals in three events so far, including silver and two bronze.
(From a news release by Amanda Bird of the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation.)
Army Spc. Shauna Rohbock Biography:
Growing up in Utah, Shauna Rohbock attended Brigham Young University, where she received honors as an All-American Athlete in soccer and track and field.
Rohbock continued playing professional soccer after college, for the San Diego Spirit in the women’s professional soccer league, until it folded. She participated in the 1999 U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation open tryout and fell in love with the sport. Rohbock also competed in bobsled during her professional soccer career.
Shauna joined the Utah Army National Guard in 2000 and competed for a push athlete slot on the 2002 Olympic Team. She then began training as a sled driver to improve her chances of participating in the 2006 Olympics.
Rohbock started driving during the 2003 season because she wanted to be in control of her career.
Rohbock has set records in nearly every race that she has competed in. Together with Valerie Fleming, Rohbock set four start records in the 2004-2005 season. In 2006, she achieved her dream by winning the Silver medal in women’s bobsled at the 2006 Olympic Games. Rohbock says her biggest role model is two-time Olympic Gold and one-time Olympic Silver medalist Julie Foudy – “Julie has done so much for sports and women. She is an amazing athlete and person.”
In Their own Words
“If I could have four runs like that last run, I think I’d be standing with a Gold medal around my neck, no doubt about that.”
“I’ve always wanted to be a driver; I’ve always wanted to be in control.”