ALBERTA

Greszczyszyn, Kripps top podium at Canadian Bobsled and Skeleton Championships

11/02/2014 10:48 EST | Updated 01/02/2015 05:59 EST
CALGARY - Dave Greszczyszyn successfully defended his men's national skeleton title, while Justin Kripps completed a golden sweep of the bobsled podium at the Canadian Bobsled and Skeleton Championships on Sunday.

The 35-year-old Greszczyszyn clocked the two fastest times of the day to win his second straight Canadian championship title. The Brampton, Ont. native posted a combined time of one minute 59.84 seconds on the 1,500-metre Olympic Track.

"The first run I was a bit slow on the push maybe because it was the first race of year and I had some race jitters, but I did have a decent down time," said the man known as "The Griz."

"I knew I had to dig deep for the second run because it was really close. I felt really relaxed from the start and had a much better push. I just let the sled do as little as possible down the track."

Two Calgarians snagged the final two spots on the men's skeleton podium. Barrett Martineau slid to the silver medal with a time of 2:00.63, while Greg Rafter bolted into the bronze medal position after clocking in at 2:00.66.

Kripps, a 27-year-old bobseld pilot from Summerland, B.C., was fresh off his two-man victory Saturday when his crew of Calgary's Lascelles Brown, Saskatoon's Ben Coakwell, and Edmonton's Bryan Barnett captured their first ever four-man title with a two-run time of 1:50.91.

"I think I won a national title while I was a brakeman with Pierre Lueders' team, but this definitely means a little more since it is my first as a pilot," said Kripps. "It was a good night. The guys pushed really well and this is a good start to the season for sure."

Chris Spring, a Calgary resident who competed for Australia at the 2010 Winter Olympics, and his newly-formed crew of Alex Kopacz, Josh Kirkpatrick and Derek Plug teamed up to win the silver medal for the second straight night, clocking a time of 1:51.37.

Two-time women's Olympic gold medallist, Kaillie Humphries officially began her quest to compete with the men on the World Cup this year by starting her first ever four-man race. Calgary's Humphries and her crew of Dan Dale, Joey Nemet and D.J. MccLelland posted the third fastest time in each of her two bombs down the 14-corner track to claim the bronze at 1:52.10.

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