Olympic medalists Elana Meyers Taylor and Aja Evans won their respective divisions Wednesday during women’s competition at the 2016 USA Bobsled National Push Championships in Calgary, Alberta.
A bronze medalist as a brakeman at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and a silver medalist as a driver in Sochi four years later, Meyers Taylor won the pilot’s division by 0.36 seconds, posting start times of 5.49 and 5.50 seconds for a combined total of 10.99 seconds. Jamie Greubel Poser, who won the bronze medal in Sochi with Evans, tied Brittany Reinbolt for second with combined times of 11.35 seconds.
The win was Meyers Taylor’s eighth start title and fifth as a driver.
Coming back after a two-year hiatus to focus on her track career, Evans showed no sign of rust as she won her third push title, posting times of 5.45 and 5.47 seconds for a combined time of 10.92 seconds. After her bid for a spot on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team was halted by ACL surgery, she turned her efforts toward rehabilitation and eventually realized she wanted to return to bobsled.
The win was a narrow one for Evans, who was pressured by the 10.95 combined time of Kehri Jones, a gold and silver medalist on last season’s world cup circuit as brakeman for Meyers Taylor. Rookie Nikia Squire was third in 11.06 seconds, while defending champion Lauren Gibbs was fourth at 11.08 seconds. Briauna Jones, who won last month’s preliminary push championships, placed fifth, followed by 2015 world champion Cherrelle Garrett and three-time Olympian Lolo Jones, who were sixth and seventh, respectively.
The push championships continue Friday with men’s two-man combinations in the morning, followed by women’s two-man competition that afternoon. The event concludes Saturday with a women’s two-man combination session in the morning and men’s three-man combinations in the afternoon.