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Guardsman Earns Silver Medal at World Bobsled Event

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.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army Spc. Shauna Rohbock of the Utah National Guard, second from left, stands with the U.S. bobsled team at the bobsled world championships at the Olympic Sports Complex in Lake Placid, N.Y., Feb 22, 2009. Rohbock and her teammate won a silver medal in the women's division. Courtesy photo by Todd Bissonette

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

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.)

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Shauna Rohbock

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