Bergeson brothers finish strong at Red Bull Crashed IceAndrew and Danny Bergeson no longer feel like rookies at Red Bull Crashed Ice.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
Andrew and Danny Bergeson no longer feel like rookies at Red Bull Crashed Ice.
The brothers from Red Wing have settled into the competition and it showed over the weekend as both finished within the top 26 at Crashed Ice Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada.
“The whole event was a lot better,” Andrew said. “Last year, I was always really excited and jacked up too much, whereas now I’m a little more relaxed; I know what’s going on.”
“We were obviously a lot more comfortable going into this race,” Danny added. “We felt more comfortable and felt more established. We both had the mindset that we belonged there.”
Andrew qualified for Saturday’s finals with a 24th-place finish in time trials Thursday. Danny came in 34th in the time trial qualifying round and advanced to the finals. Both were seeded second during their first elimination round races Saturday and moved into the round of 32 by finishing in the top two of their heats.
Andrew said he had a great first race, moving on easily, but Danny’s race involved some heart-racing moments as he qualified by diving across the finish line.
“My first race was crazy,” Danny said. “I’ve never seen so many collisions and falls. All four guys were running into each other and falling into each other. … Going into the final corner, I had two guys in front of me. I outskated (one guy) to the finish line and slid feet first. It was a pretty eventful race, a photo finish.”
In the round of 32, Andrew and Danny were knocked out of the competition after not finishing in the top two in their respective heats. Andrew said he had a chance to advance but made a mistake before the final turn that caused him to fall. Andrew finished 23rd and Danny was 26th overall.
“I tried to make the pass on the jump down the slope, I did something that wasn’t really a smart move and I ended up falling off that jump,” he said. “I was a little bummed out because I was right there. I didn’t quite have the patience. You get a little antsy sometimes.”
During Friday’s festivities, the brothers also combined to form Team ZUBZ with Armands Tripans of Latvia, who is ranked 70th in the world rankings, for the Team Challenge competition. Team ZUBZ finished fifth overall and was close to beating the team headed by Niagara Falls winner Kyle Croxall of Canada. Andrew said he was out front of the pack for the majority of the race, with Danny in third, before his skate caught and he fell to allow Croxall the win.
Cameron Naasz, of Lakeville, Minn., finished runner-up at Niagara Falls, leading Croxall for much of the race before getting passed down the stretch. Naasz’ success gives the Americans hope for a host country victory when Crashed Ice returns to St. Paul, Jan. 26.
“We were just going crazy for Cam,” Andrew said. “That was so good for the sport. People are really starting to notice it in the U.S. This year, with (Naasz’s) big finish it was really great for the sport and great for us in the U.S.”
Next up, Andrew said the brothers hope to make it into the quarterfinals. The novelty of the races is wearing off and now the competitive fire is kicking in, he said.
“It means I’m not just here for fun, it’s time to compete,” Andrew said. “I don’t feel like a rookie anymore. The bright lights don’t scare you quite as much. It’s more important to me to win.”