Antoine Wins

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Matt Antoine was pleased with his start times at the USA Skeleton National Team Trials.


Antoine victorious at Skeleton National Team Trials

Matt Antoine of Prairie du Chien won day two of USA Skeleton National Team Trials at Mount Van Hoevenberg on Oct. 24. The series will move on to Park City, Utah for the final two races before the team is named on Nov. 3.

“There was a lot of shuffling around for positions in day two and it shows the depth of our program,” said USA Skeleton Head Coach Tuffy Latour. “It’s anyone’s game as we head into the second half of races in Park City, and we’re really excited to see who rises to the top.”

Antoine was dominant again in the Oct. 24 men’s race, winning by a wide margin of 1.83 seconds over Nathan Crumpton (Park City, Utah) with a combined time of 1:50.82.

“I had the same approach for today, just doing what I know to do,” Antoine said. “I have 14 years of experience, so I know what needs to be done and it’s just a matter of executing and that’s what I was able to do.”

Antoine posted runs of 55.17 and 55.65 seconds and had the top push time of the final heat, 4.95 seconds. He said the depth of the men’s field keeps him motivated and helps push him to continue improving.

“There’s strength and depth to our field,” Antoine said. “I was having a bit of a down season last year and these guys were the ones that kept pushing me along, making me want to improve and get better again. If I get too relaxed or I’m not where I need to be, they could take my spot. I’m kind of using last season as motivation to get better.”

A five-time USA Skeleton National Champion and the 2014 Olympic bronze medalist, Antoine also won the top spot after day one of men’s skeleton team trials.

Antoine dominated on the first day on Oct. 23, winning the first of four races by a monster margin of 1.48 seconds. Antoine posted runs of 54.96 and 54.79 seconds for a total time of 1:49.75 to set the pace for Team USA’s men.

“I had a rough beginning of the week for training and we had sporadic sliding days, which didn’t help the situation, but it’s the beginning of the season and there are a lot of challenges that come with the weather. We made due with what we could,” Antoine said. “Once I got back into a consistent schedule, I really didn’t have a good training day until yesterday and that gave me a lot of confidence that I could come out and slide the way I know I’m capable of.”

Antoine said he was most pleased with his push times, 4.98 and 4.94, which were second and first fastest of the day, respectively.

“I haven’t pushed that fast in a couple years, and that was a little bit of a relief, just to see that I’m back on the right track,” Antoine said. “When you walk to the line and you know you’re going to be fast at the start, it helps everything else from there on down.”

Although Antoine has been the top competitor for the men’s program for several years now, he said he goes into the season on par with everyone, battling for the same spots.

“The reality is I’m sitting the same place that everyone else is right now, I have to earn my spot on the team and that’s the mentality that I have in these trials,” Antoine said.

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