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Cameron Naasz Reaches Podium In Thrilling Saint Paul Finale

SAINT PAUL, Minn., Jan. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- One hundred and fifteen thousand people descended upon the Cathedral of Saint Paul as Canadian brothers Kyle and Scott Croxall took the top two spots in an intense, action-packed final day at the Red Bull Crashed Ice - Ice Cross Downhill World Championship.  Yet in many ways, the night belonged to hometown hero Cameron Naasz, who continued to cement his position as one of the elite Ice Cross Downhill athletes in the world with a third place finish.

(Photo:   http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130127/LA48888)

The crowd chanted " USA! USA! USA!" as the Lakeview resident dominated the first three rounds, finishing first in each heat as the excitement around his performance grew. Naasz qualified for the finals in dramatic fashion, as he slid blades first across the finish line to edge out Canadian competitor John Fisher by a skate. The final run came down to the wire, with Naasz jumping out to the front of the pack and narrowly holding his lead through the first half of the course. But the Croxall brothers managed to surpass Naasz on the final quarter of the track, leaving him and the United States just short of a first-ever victory in the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship.

"Tonight was unbelievable – I wish I had taken a few more strides on the final run," said Naasz. "But feeling the energy of the crowd was amazing, and now I'm more focused than ever on doing whatever I can to take the next step and win a race."

Two other Americans made deep runs into the quarterfinals. Veteran Tigh Isaac was one of them, putting in a strong performance and keeping himself in contention for the top spot all night. A collision during the quarterfinals squashed his hopes to reach the podium, but he's established himself as a force to be reckoned with on the circuit.

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