Alexa Putnam Posts Personal Best Time on Skeleton

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Picture credit Charlie Brooker: Alexa Putnam has just “loaded” onto her sled and focused on setting-up perfectly for the first corner.

Tradewinds,

Saturday, February 10
Alexa had a personal best time at the Junior World Skeleton and Bobsled Championships, in Altenberg Germany. She finished the day in 13th position, out of the 20 participants. Once again, she was the youngest competitor, and very much bested her last-place finish of 2005, and 24th of 29 position in 2006.

Her first run today placed her in 16th position but her next run was the tenth best run of the second heat! and her best-ever run at Altenberg. That is the sort of personal best performance a great competitor can throw down! It's an indication of things to come!

She also had two personal best times for her push-start. As you know she is training and competing under the guidance of the German national team. Her German Junior World “teammates” finished first, second, and third on the day!

Alexa finished ahead of sliders from the USA, Great Britain, Russia, Czech Republic, Poland and Romania. Of the nine countries represented the Virgin Islands finished 7th.

Monday she is back on the World Cup Tour with two more races to go. She is in Winterberg, Germany this next week. The World Cup finishes its tour in Konigssee, Alexa’s “Home” track, in two weeks.

While Alexa passed on the World Cup race held in Italy two days ago, her German World Cup teammates stunned the field with a 1st, 2nd, and 4th place finish. The 4th place finish belonged to Alexa's summer training partner, Anja Huber. The German’s men’s best-finish-of-the-year belonged to Alexa’s other summer training partner, Michi Halilovic.  So, she’s training in good company.

She may be the youngest on the World Cup tour again next season and representing our warm weather, tropical Islands, but she is gaining respect in this Alpine sport and is definitely in “the talk of the Tour.”

Friday, February 16
Alexa had her closest finish yet! Today she set a personal best record of 1:02.03 on this Winter-berg Track. Alexa was 2.44 seconds off the leader, USA’s Katie Uhlaender…and Katie set the track record during the first heat!

At the end of the first heat seventeen sliders were within .79 seconds of the leader! This is the World Cup and these are best sliders in the world! Seventeen sliders less than one second apart dramatically shows just how competitive this Olympic sport came be. Today was Alexa’s closest finish time to the Top 20. She was 1.4 seconds from being Top 20.

Alexa finished the day in 26th position, but ahead of the Italian, Teresita Bremante.

“Home field advantage” is the excitement of the final World Cup race, in Konigssee, Germany just outside Berchtesgaden. This track is most familiar to Alexa. Her small apartment is just minutes away from the track! And she’s only a few more minutes from the headquarters of the German Sports Federation that has so graciously taken her under their wings.

Within weeks of Alexa’s arrival in Germany last August the German coaching staff asked her to please consider committing to four years of training leading up to the Winter Games in British Columbia, Canada. This year her German coach, Raimund Blyth, was honored as the first “Coach of the Year” for the German Federation! Alexa’s training partners are two of Germany’s finest sliders. Both Anja and Michi have had the best results of all the German racers, and both hold records for the quickest starts.

Alexa will be training in the best of company for the eight months leading-up to the 2007-08 World Cup Tour.

Finally, all four of Alexa’s German “teammates” finished in the Top 10. At the end of two runs there was .95 seconds separating the winner, Uhlaender, from the 10th position, German Julie Eichhorn! (1.59:39 to 2.00:34). Two minutes of sliding at 70 mph and less than one second apart!

Coach Morgen
(Steve Morgenthaler)