Lund makes World Cup sliding team
Zach Lund is a significant step closer to finally competing in the Olympics. Lund, who narrowly missed making the U.S. Olympic skeleton team in 2002 and barred from racing at the Turin Games four years later because his hair-restoration product triggered a positive drug test, qualified for the World Cup skeleton team Saturday at Park City, Utah. Making the World Cup team doesn't guarantee an Olympic spot, but it boosts his plans to race in February's Vancouver Games. "I did what I had to do," said Lund, who raced with a strained hamstring that he expects will hamper him into at least the start of the international season. "I got through it." The U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation formally announced the World Cup rosters Saturday night. It's not the Olympic team - that won't come out until Jan. 23 - but the World Cup racers have the easiest path to Vancouver. Lund and John Daly joined Eric Bernotas on the men's skeleton team, while Rebecca Sorensen qualified behind Noelle Pikus-Pace and Katie Uhlaender for the women's skeleton team. That left Courtney Yamada-Anderson out in the cold, for good. She retired after the race, calling her skeleton career "an amazing journey." "It's really hard to leave it behind, but it's time. ... It will still be extremely difficult to say goodbye," Yamada-Anderson said. Pikus-Pace locked up her team-trials win on Friday and then capped the trials series with another victory Saturday. Uhlaender and Bernotas both were awarded spots on the team through injury waivers. Daly making the team might be considered a bit of a surprise - even to himself. "Did I really win? Wow, I'm so happy," he said. "I already bought my ticket home, but maybe I need to cancel it now." The final rounds of bobsled team trials were also Saturday. Todd Hays locked up another spot on the men's team, and Erin Pac won the final team trials race to clinch a spot on the women's driving roster. "It's nice to have these races finished so that we can focus on the competitive season," Pac said. Drivers Steven Holcomb and Shauna Rohbock already had spots on the team, exempting them from team trials. On the women's team, Rohbock and Pac will be joined by driver Bree Schaaf, a former skeleton athlete now making an Olympic push in a bobsled. They'll have push athletes Emily Azevedo, Valerie Fleming, Jamie Greubel, Ingrid Marcum, Elana Meyers and Michelle Rzepka to choose from. Holcomb, Hays and John Napier will be the World Cup men's pilots, with push athletes Chuck Berkeley, TJ Burns, Nick Cunningham, Chris Fogt, Brock Kreitzburg, Steve Langton, Steve Mesler, Jamie Moriarty, Justin Olsen, Bill Schuffenhauer, Curt Tomasevicz and Laszlo Vandrascek. "This is inarguably the best team we've ever fielded in an Olympic season," USBSF CEO Darrin Steele said.