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Fogt nabs first career Men’s Bobsled U.S. National Push Championship title
CALGARY, Canada (August 1, 2013)- Chris Fogt (Alpine, Utah) unseated powerhouse Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.), who was vying for his fifth consecutive title, after leading the field by 0.042 seconds to win the men’s bobsled national push championships. Both athletes broke Ice House records; Fogt holds the record for the fastest push from the brakes, and Langton is the fastest athlete to push from the right side. Abe Morlu (Phoenix, Ariz.), a former athlete for the Swiss team, finished third.
Athletes took three pushes: two from either side and one from the brakes. The best side and brake push times were combined to declare the winner.
Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas), who did not compete due to rehabilitation from a minor injury, still holds the record from the left side.
“The U.S. team now owns the Canadian Ice House track record from the right side, left side and brakes,” said men’s bobsled head coach Brian Shimer. “This is going to be a special year. It feels pretty good to be the coach of such a talented team.”
Fogt is a soldier-athlete, serving as a Captain in the Military Intelligence branch and a member of the Army’s World Class Athlete Program (WCAP). He was deployed for one year following the 2010 Vancouver Games, and has made a strong comeback since his return.
“I was back at square one after my deployment and I had to make my way back on the team,” Fogt said. “I’m fortunate that the WCAP has allowed me to train full time over the last two years, and now I’m seeing those results. It’s awesome.”
Fogt and Langton are training partners and help push one another to make gains. While each of them wanted to win, they were cheering one another along during the competition.
“Steve and I were teammates at the 2010 Olympics, and he’s my best friend in the sport,” Fogt said. “He’s won this competition four times, and it gives me something to work towards. He gave me a high five at the start, said good luck, and is a true sportsman.
“This isn’t a one-man sport; it’s a team sport. You want everyone to do his best. That’s why I love the U.S. team. You would think it would be cutthroat, but it’s not at all. Everyone is cheering each other on, and it’s such a great atmosphere. We are such a great unit this year, and we hope all of our sleds are on the podium come Sochi.”
Fogt set the record for the fastest time on the brakes, 4.962 seconds, compared to Langton’s time of 5.009. Langton gained time back on his teammate by breaking the right side push record with a time of 5.004, but Fogt’s time of 5.009 was good enough to keep him in the lead. Fogt claimed his first push championship win with a total time of 9.971, while Langton finished second with a combined time of 10.013.
“There’s no one else I’d rather lose to if it had to happen,” Langton said. “I’m elated for Chris. He’s been really great for a long time, and he finally got to show some people what he’s made of.”
Langton said this year’s field was the most competitive of any push championships he’s raced in, and he’s excited about the potential Team USA has for earning medals this season.
“It’s incredible to see how well everyone is performing this early in the season,” Langton said. “We have the best athletes in the world, and we have athletes that work the hardest in the world. Put those two together, and we’re unbeatable.”
Morlu raced with Swiss pilot Beat Hefti in the 2013 World Championship team event held in St. Moritz, Switzerland. The duo shattered the start record, and Morlu quickly made a name for himself on the circuit. The Phoenix based athlete made his mark with the U.S. team with push times of 5.114 and 5.078.
Nathan Weber (Colorado Springs, Colo.) finished fourth with a combined time of 10.241, and 2010 Olympic gold medalist Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.) clocked a total of 10.247 for fifth. Johnny Quinn (McKinney, Texas) posted a 10.247 for sixth. Full results are listed below.
Tomorrow the drivers take their turn on the push bar from 5-7 pm. Please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-354-2250 with media inquiries.
Results (best side push, brakes):
1. Chris Fogt 9.971 (5.009, 4.962); 2. Steve Langton 10.013 (5.004, 5.009); 3. Abe Morlu 10.222 (5.144, 5.078); 4. Nathan Weber 10.241 (5.138, 5.103); 5. Curt Tomasevicz 10.247 (5.155, 5.092); 6. Johnny Quinn 10.247 (5.129, 5.118); 7. Chuck Berkeley 10.291 (5.143, 5.148); 8. Jajonelle Dejarnette 10.311 (5.178, 5.133); 9. Chris Langton 10.325 (5.178, 5.147); 10. Andreas Drbal 10.342 (5.186, 5.156); 11. Dakarai Kongela 10.401 (5.232, 5.169); 12. Sam Michener 10.457 (5.252, 5.205); 13. Thomas Pace 10.462 (5.273, 5.189); 14. TJ Burns 10.481 (5.267, 5.214); 15. Jesse Beckom 10.491 (5.270, 5.221); 16. Thomas White 10.507 (5.296, 5.211); 17. Nic Taylor 10.557 (5.260, 5.297); 18. Laszlo Vandracsek 10.692 (5.353, 5.339);
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