Meyers Taylor and Olsen win pilot titles in 2017 USA Bobsled National Push Championships

July 28, 2017, 6:25 p.m. (ET)

Contact: Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing & Communications Director
(518) 354-2250, amanda.bird@usabs.com
Kristen Gowdy, USABS Media and Marketing Assistant, (719) 722-0522, kristen.gowdy@usabs.com

Meyers Taylor and Olsen win pilot titles in 2017 USA Bobsled National Push Championships

Photos: Molly Choma 

CALGARY, Canada (July 28, 2017)- Elana Meyers Taylor (Douglasville, Ga.) and Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas) were dominant today, wining their respective pilot titles in the 2017 USA Bobsled National Push Championships in Calgary’s Ice House with the fastest times of the competition.

Meyers Taylor, a two-time Olympic medalist, topped Jamie Greubel Poser (Newtown, Pa.) and Katie Eberling (Palos Hills, Ill.) for the women’s pilot title. It was the ninth push title for Meyers Taylor, her sixth since becoming a driver. Meyers Taylor clocked powerful start times of 5.50 and 5.53 seconds to take the lead with a combined time of 11.03.

“It feels good to start another season with a win,” Meyers Taylor said. “As drivers, the main thing for us is to stay healthy and keep in mind that we have October to prepare for. Push championships gives us the chance to practice some things we need for competition, like mental resilience.”

Meyers Taylor still holds the pilot push record of 5.44, and her eight-year record from the brakes was just broken yesterday by newly crowned women’s push champion Aja Evans.

“A lot of brakemen posted personal records yesterday, which was really impressive since we’re coming off a long season,” Meyers Taylor said. “As good as we are, we know we can’t rest. We have to keep pushing because you don’t know what the world has coming for you.”

Eberling, who began driving during the 2014-2015 season, was runner-up with a combined time of 11.21 seconds after clocking runs of 5.59 and 5.62. Olympic bronze medalist Greubel Poser was third with a total time of 11.23 seconds after posting consistent runs of 5.61 and 5.62.

Olsen is approaching his third season as a pilot. He competed as a push athlete for eight seasons and became an Olympic champion at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games in Steven Holcomb’s sled before moving to the front of the sled after racing in the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games with Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.). Both Olsen and Cunningham are sergeants in the Army’s World Class Athlete Program.

Olsen clocked push times from the driver’s bar of 5.14 and 5.18 seconds for a total of 10.32 to claim the title. Olsen still holds the Ice House record, 5.04, from the driver’s push bar. This is his fifth push title, and his third as a driver.

“My times were exactly what I thought I would push,” Olsen said. “It’s been an interesting summer as far as being throttled with training while coming back from a calf injury. I’m not getting ahead of myself, which is one of the hardest things to do. As much as I want to break my record, I know there’s still time before the season starts. I’m looking at the big picture this year, taking baby steps.”

Olsen said yesterday’s competition was “fantastic to watch,” and he was excited to see the returning veterans meet high expectations and newer athletes showcase their progress.

“The standard of pushing is going to continue to get higher as we get closer to the games,” Olsen said. “Some of these athletes have risen to that challenge, and it’s great to see.”

Dustin Greenwood (Palmyra, Va.) finished second to Olsen with a two-run total of 10.48 seconds, followed by two-time Olympian Cunningham in third with a 10.54.

The week in Calgary concludes tomorrow with combination pushes. Tomorrow’s session is not a competition, but a chance for athletes to push together in a variety of combinations. The event will be streamed LIVE at http://www.teamusa.org/usa-bobsled-skeleton-federation/events/live-watch-live starting at 10 a.m. MST.

For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing & Communications Director, at amanda.bird@usabs.com, or at (518) 354-2250.

Women’s pilots
1. Elana Meyers Taylor 11.03 (5.50, 5.53);
2. Katie Eberling 11.21 (5.59, 5.62);
3. Jamie Greubel Poser 11.23 (5.61, 5.62);
4. Brittany Reinbolt 11.40 (5.68, 5.72);
5. Kristi Koplin 11.68 (5.80, 5.88);
6. Nicole Vogt 11.85 (5.91, 5.94);

Men’s pilots

1. Justin Olsen 10.32 (5.14, 5.18);

2. Dustin Greenwood 10.48 (5.24, 5.24);

3. Nick Cunningham 10.54 (5.25, 5.29);

4. Codie Bascue 10.60 (5.29, 5.31);

5. Hunter Church 11.09 (5.54, 5.55);

6. Geoff Gadbois 12.03 (6.11, 5.92)

 

About USA Bobsled & Skeleton
USA Bobsled & Skeleton (USABS), based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. USABS would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Under Armour, Kampgrounds of America, Thorne Research, Boomerang Carnets, Hudl, Tesa Tape, PVS International, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Stress Engineering, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com.

###