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Antoine, O’Shea add to national title counts

March 29, 2017
Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - Annie O'Shea and Matt Antoine claimed their respective USA Skeleton National Championships titles at Mount Van Hoevenberg on Saturday. This is O'Shea's fourth career national title and Antoine's sixth.

"This race was a good mix of veterans and young new athletes coming up the pipeline, and it's pushing the veterans to become better," USA Skeleton assistant coach Zach Lund said Saturday. "I'm really excited about where our program is heading. It's been crazy weather this week with a snowstorm yesterday, rain last night and then warm today, but the track crew did an amazing job keeping the track in great condition for a fair race."

O'Shea entered Saturday's final heats 0.27 seconds behind Katie Uhlaender in second. She gained the lead by a mere 0.01 seconds in Saturday's opening heat with a time of 56.19 seconds, and solidified her title in the finale with a time of 56.09 seconds. O'Shea claimed her fourth title by 0.22 seconds with a four-run combined time of 3:43.37.

Article Photos

Matt Antoine mounts his sled at the start of his second run during Friday’s USA Skeleton National Championships at Mount Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid.
(Photo — Jason Hicks-Moriarty)

"I didn't put the pressure on myself to do well, to win, to race better since I had a really tough season," O'Shea said. "I'm just not racing to the best of my abilities. My family got here last night, so I went to dinner with them. I actually didn't sleep at all last night, I just couldn't fall asleep, so it's kind of comical that I was focused and aware and in my own zone that I haven't been able to get to all year. I'm proud of myself for getting there and having my focus just be on myself today."

Uhlaender, a three-time Olympian, finished second after posting times of 56.47 and 56.30 seconds for a total time of 3:43.59. Savannah Graybill (Denver, Pennsylvania) maintained her position to secure the bronze medal in 3:44.23 after clocking times of 56.51 and 56.59 seconds.

Kendall Wesenberg moved up to fourth place with a total of 3:45.10. Megan Henry finished fifth in 3:45.34, while Gracie Clapp-Taylor was sixth in 3:45.40.

Antoine dominated the men's race with the four fastest runs of the race to claim his sixth career title by a huge margin of 2.25 seconds. Antoine led with runs of 54.35 and 54.50 seconds for a combined time of 3:36.02.

"They weren't my best runs, but one of the biggest things about coming back to Lake Placid was to test some sled setups and runners and it was good to see how those setups ran here," Antoine said. "It's nice not going into an Olympic season with some of those questions hanging over me. It's always nice to come back at the end of the season to race with all of people on other tours and the new athletes. Taking my sixth national title is pretty special."

Nathan Crumpton jumped up a spot to claim silver in 3:38.27 with runs of 54.71 and 54.81 seconds. Two-time Olympian John Daly capped his comeback season with a third place finish after posting runs of 54.96 and 54.79 seconds for a total of 3:38.55.

Alex Ivanov totaled a time of 3:39.39 to finish fourth. Mike Rogals was fifth in 3:39.63, and Jake Miter, of Troy, rounded out the top six with a four-run combined time of 3:41.04.



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