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Meyers and Cunningham win Pilot Push Championship titles
CALGARY, Canada (August 2, 2013)- Elana Meyers (Douglasville, Ga.) and Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.) successfully defended their U.S. National Push Championship titles in a pilot push-off competition at the Calgary Ice House today.
Today’s win marks the sixth push title won by Meyers, who earned the 2010 Olympic bronze medal as a brakeman with driver Erin Pac. Meyers set the bar by breaking the Ice House start record in the first heat with a time of 5.445 seconds. She upped the ante in the second heat by breaking the start record again with a run of 5.443. Meyer’s total time of 10.888 placed her 0.22 seconds ahead of the field for the win.
“I’m happy with my performance today and I think it was a great competition for the pilots,” Meyers said. “In order to get down the hill the fastest it helps to be the fastest at the start. Canadian Kaillie Humphries is the one to beat right now, and in order to contend with her we have to push at the same pace as her. I think we’re putting together teams that can do that.”
Although Meyers blew away the field, she struggled with her focus today. Just hours before the competition, she learned that her Aunt Marcela Pisano passed away.
“Today was extremely difficult,” Meyers said. “I’d like to dedicate this win to my Aunt Marcela. It was hard to focus on the competition, but thanks to my fiancé, great teammates and coaching staff I was able to pull it together for the win.”
Jamie Greubel (Newtown, Pa.) had a strong performance and finished second with a cumulative time of 11.108 seconds. Jazmine Fenlator (Wayne, N.J.) clocked an aggregate time of 11.256 for third.
In the men’s race, Cunningham finished 0.04 seconds ahead of reigning Olympic four-man bobsled champion Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) to claim his second consecutive push championship title. Cunningham, who competed in the 2010 Olympics as a push athlete, clocked times of 5.162 and 5.185 seconds for a combined total of 10.347.
“It’s always a great feeling to start the season with a win,” Cunningham said. “With the world’s best brakeman turning into drivers, it makes us work harder and get bigger and faster to be better all around athletes, not just great drivers. Watching yesterday’s competition really motivated me and makes me so excited about the upcoming season. The depth of the brakeman is like nothing I’ve ever seen. Watching our brakeman break the Ice House records was incredible and really helped to kick off the season.”
Chris Fogt broke the brakeman push record yesterday en route to earning his first title, while Steve Langton set the right side push time record. Cunningham, like Fogt, is a member of the Army’s World Class Athlete Program (WCAP), and credits their support for his success.
“I wouldn’t be able to compete in this sport without WCAP’s support,” Cunningham said. “They allow me the opportunity to represent my country as a Sergeant and as an athlete, and that means a lot.”
Holcomb pushed a combined time of 10.387 to finish second, while junior pilot Codie Bascue (Whitehall, N.Y.) continues to make his mark in the sport with a third place finish after posting a total time of 10.758.
Please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-354-2250 with media inquiries.
1. Elana Meyers 10.888 (5.445, 5.443); 2. Jamie Greubel 11.108 (5.554, 5.554); 3. Jazmine Fenlator 11.256 (5.647, 5.609); 4. Brittany Reinbolt 11.362 (5.669, 5.693); 5. Katelyn Kelly 11;609 (5.781, 5.828); 6. Bree Schaaf 11.645 (5.843, 5.802); 7. Megan Hill 11.648 (5.828, 5.820); 8. Ida Bernstein 11.681 (5.852, 5.829); 9. Berit Tomten 11.779 (5.885, 5.894); 10. Nicole Vogt 11.894 (5.944, 5.950);
1. Nick Cunningham 10.347 (5.162, 5.185); 2. Steve Holcomb 10.387 (5.184, 5.203); 3. Codie Bascue 10.758 (5.380, 5.378); 4. Jay Noller 10.847 (5.424, 5.423); 5. Shane Hook 10.941 (5.455, 5.486);
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The United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. The USBSF would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Under Armour, United States National Guard, Kampgrounds of America, WIDIA, Boomerang Carnets, 24 Hour Fitness, Vivat!, Global Forwarding, KBC Helmets, Azad Watches, Latta USA, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Autism Speaks, Park City Lodging, EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.