Blaser, Henry win their way onto World Cup skeleton team
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) — Andrew Blaser and Megan Henry are headed to USA Skeleton's World Cup roster for the first time, after both put together winning performances in the national team-trials series that ended Sunday.
Blaser swept the four-race men's series, and Henry went 2 for 2 this weekend to earn her spot on the roster. Alex Ivanov got the other men's berth, and Savannah Graybill took the remaining women's at-large spot.
Austin Florian will be USA-1 for the men, followed by Blaser and Ivanov. Kendall Wesenberg will be USA-1 for the women, followed by Henry and Graybill. Florian and Wesenberg earned their spots by winning national championships in March.
"It's really exciting to see these athletes come into their own and to see how they are progressing in the sport," USA Skeleton coach Tuffy Latour said. "We have some high quality athletes on this team, and we're looking forward to seeing how the season shapes up."
Henry needed a pair of wins in the final races this weekend to get onto the squad. Graybill was second in all four women's races, and four-time Olympian Katie Uhlaender — the winner of the first two trials races — was third in both this weekend. Uhlaender will start the season on the Intercontinential Cup circuit.
"All of the women did awesome and made it exciting," Henry said. "There were some really strong starts from some of the newer sliders and I am excited for what the season holds for our team, both men and women across the board."
The World Cup season starts on the first two weekends of December, both of those races to be held on USA Skeleton's home track in Lake Placid, New York.
Other stops this season include Winterberg, Germany; La Plagne, France; Igls, Austria; Koenigssee, Germany; St. Moritz, Switzerland; and Sigulda, Latvia. The world championships this season are in Altenberg, Germany.