From Lake Placid, USA
(Jan. 14, 2018) Generally speaking, the last four-man race of the year in the North American Cup is for nothing more than pride and occasionally a NAC four-man championship. In the final race of the 2017/2018 season, however, there was much more riding on the race.
In trying to qualify a third sled into the 2018 Olympic Games, the United States needed exactly one result: Hunter Church winning the race.
With the third Russian four-man sled 112 points ahead of Church, Church winning the NAC event would put him eight points ahead and qualify a third sled (providing Nick Cunningham finished the race) for the United States. Any other finish, and Russia would send three sleds.
On the first run, Church was essentially flawless, setting the fast time at the start and at every timing line to the finish, well ahead of China’s Jian Jin in second place.
Cunningham’s team slipped up at the start of his first run, only setting the seventh fastest start time, and coming down in sixth place.
Needing a good finish, Cunningham’s team rallied, pushing him off with the fastest start of the race in the second run, and putting down the fast time of the race in the second run to move up the order.
In the end, Church held onto his lead by a full second over Cunningham, giving him the gold medal and the United States a third four-man sled in the Olympic Games.
Cunningham finished second, 1.03 seconds back, with Yin finishing third.
Brazil’s Edson Bindilatti finished fourth, Yijun Shao of China fifth and Drazel Silic of Croatia sixth.
With his fourth place run, Bindilatti finished as the North American Cup four-man bobsled champion, Church finished second, and Drazen third.
|Pos||Names||Nation||Start 1||Start 2||Run 1||Run 2||Total|
|1||Church / B. Fogt / Moreira / Michener||USA||5.33||5.29||54.66||54.92||1:49.58|
|2||Cunningham / Abdul-Saboor / Kinney / Taylor||USA||5.97||5.10||56.08||54.53||1:50.61|
|3||Jin / Mu/ Wang / Sun||CHN||5.37||5.34||55.42||55.31||1:50.73|
|4||Bindilatti / Pessoni / Parreiras / da Silva||BRA||5.57||5.34||56.07||55.15||1:51.22|
|5||Shao / Wang / Li / Shi||CHN||5.50||5.43||55.74||55.78||1:51.52|
|6||Silic / Mezulic / Maric / Zlatnar||CRO||5.70||5.71||55.94||56.11||1:52.05|
|7||Austin / Joyce / King-Fileen / Gray||CAN||5.79||5.77||56.62||56.50||1:53.12|
|8||McKeen /King-Fileen / Lundrigen / Hol||CAN||6.13||5.97||57.42||57.60||1:55.02|
|DNS||Gadbois / Walsh / Del Duca / Williamson||DNS|