Meyers Taylor, Holcomb win second bobsled selection race

Nov. 07, 2014, 2:12 p.m. (ET)

Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director
(518) 354-2250, abird@usbsf.com

Meyers Taylor, Holcomb win second bobsled selection race


PARK CITY, Utah (Nov. 7, 2014)- Elana Meyers Taylor (Douglasville, Ga.) teamed with Lauren Gibbs (Denver, Colo.) at the Utah Olympic Park today to complete a sweep of the women’s bobsled selection races, and the duo of Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) and Alex Harrison (Edmonds, Wash.) were victorious in the men’s two-man bobsled race.

“It was a great competition today,” said Brian Shimer, U.S. bobsled head coach. “Although we’re probably 99% rookies, there were no major mistakes, which is great. We’re starting a rebuilding process, and so far, so good.  We’re on the right track, and it’s been exciting to see things come together as coach.”

Despite already earning a spot on the national team with her 2014 Olympic silver medal performance, Meyers Taylor wasn’t taking selection races lightly.

“One of the things I’m focused on is really getting these rookies rolling,” Meyers Taylor said. “It’s the first race experience for them. I raced last week with Ajla (Glavasevic) and this week with Lauren. So, I am really getting some good race experience. I’ve been treating it like a race. I don’t have many opportunities to prepare. I have to go in and do normal race prep and get ready to roll for World Cup.”


Gibbs helped push Meyers Taylor to the second and first fastest times of the day, 5.25 and 5.27 seconds, respectively, in her competitive bobsled debut.  Meyers Taylor threaded her BMW sled to the finish in 49.71 and 50.08 seconds for a total time of 1:39.79 to lead the women’s field by 0.41 seconds.

“It was a dream come true to be able to push one of the best pilots in the world,” Gibbs said about her debut. “She’s such a good teacher and she’s so patient. We’ve been having a really good time. I am coming off of an injury, so it was nice to go full speed for the first time in three weeks. I am just excited for the next four years.”

Jamie Greubel Poser (Newtown, Pa.) claimed the 2014 Olympic bronze medal and also has a bye onto the national team. Greubel Poser teamed with national team veteran Cherrelle Garrett (Oakland, Calif.) for the fastest push times of the race, 5.23 and 5.27 seconds. The duo clocked runs of 49.91 and 50.29 seconds for a combined time of 1:40.20 to secure second place.

Olympian Jazmine Fenlator (Wayne, N.J.) partnered with Natalie Deratt (Asheville, N.C.) for third place with a two-run total of 1:40.77 to secure the third and final driver’s spot up for grabs on the women’s roster.

Holcomb and Harrison blasted off the blocks in the first heat with a push time of 4.92 seconds to set the pace for the men’s field. Holcomb expertly piloted his BMW sled to the finish in 48.65 seconds, and followed it up with a second run of 49.30 seconds to win the race by 0.30 seconds with a combined time of 1:37.95.

Holcomb claimed double bronze medals at the 2014 Sochi Games to earn a bye onto the national team, and said he utilized today’s race to get race ready for the upcoming World Cup season.

“Today was my first full-push since Sochi,” Holcomb said. “I’m coming back from my achilles injury and I have been taking it slow. In Lake Placid, I had just barely started training. I was barely healthy enough to push, let alone race. So we went kind of light. But we also tested some new equipment, which was our focus. This week, we have been more focused on racing. We realize we need to get back to the mindset, where now is the time. We need to go 100% and see how it feels. Today, I felt great. Everything seems to still be functional. It was a good race and I am excited for the future.”

Harrison earned a spot in Holcomb’s sled for selection races after finishing second in U.S. National Push Championships. Today was his first competition, and Harrison said making his debut in a sled with three-time Olympic medalist Holcomb was a surreal experience.

“I was stressed at first, but I am really excited to push for (Steven) Holcomb. He’s an amazing driver,” Harrison said. “I don’t even know how to describe it. I was a Division II athlete, not anything special. It looks like I was created for bobsled, because I’ve gone from nothing special to pretty good in a bobsled. It’s really a pleasure riding with Holcomb.”

Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.) won the trials opener in Lake Placid, N.Y., and he teamed with Sam Michener (Gresham, Ore.) for second place today. The duo posted impressive push times of 4.96 seconds in both heats, and Cunningham piloted the crew to the finish in 48.93 and 49.32 seconds for a total of 1:38.25. Cunningham held the fastest time down the course in the second heat until the very final split, where Holcomb overtook him by 0.02 seconds.

Codie Bascue (Whitehall, N.Y.) and David Cremin (Annandale, Va.) crossed the finish line in 1:38.34 to finish third. The duo tied Cunningham and Michener for the fastest push time of the second heat after clocking a start time of 4.96 seconds.

Selection races continue with the third of four skeleton races at 6 pm MT tonight before bobsled is back on track at 9 a.m. tomorrow morning. Six sleds are entered into the four-man selection race, including Meyers Taylor. The International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation announced last month that the four-man discipline would be open to female athletes, allowing female-only, male-only and mixed gender teams to race. Meyers Taylor has elected to race in tomorrow’s four-man bobsled trials, and she will be a strong contender against a field of experienced pilots.

“I am super excited for tomorrow,” Meyers Taylor said. “I definitely have some butterflies going in, but you know I don’t know what to expect, I have never done this before. We’re just going to go in and have fun. The guys have been working extremely hard. I couldn’t be more proud of how they have been working. They’ve done everything they can to prepare me, especially Adrian Adams. He has come along way and he’s learned so much in the last week. It’s really incredible. I am really excited about what tomorrow holds.”

For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at abird@usbsf.com, or at (518) 354-2250. 

Stay updated on the team’s progress leading up to the biggest event of the season by following the team on the USBSF Twitter page or the USA Bobsled & Skeleton Facebook page. 

Results

Women’s Bobsled
1. Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs 1:39.79 (49.71, 50.08); 2. Jamie Greubel Poser and Cherrelle Garrett 1:40.20 (49.91, 50.29); 3. Jazmine Fenlator and Natalie Deratt 1:40.77 (50.21, 50.56); 4. Brittany Reinbolt and Ajla Glavasevic 1:41.45 (50.56, 50.89); 5. Katelyn Kelly and Michelle Howe 1:42.02 (50.77, 51.25); 6. Nicole Vogt and Kristen Bennett 1:42.83 (51.51, 51.32);

Men’s Bobsled
1. Steven Holcomb and Alex Harrison 1:37.95 (48.65, 49.30); 2. Nick Cunningham and Sam Michener 1:38.25 (48.93, 49.32); 3. Codie Bascue and David Cremin 1:38.34 (49.00, 49.34); 4. Colin Coughlin and Carlo Valdes 1:39.59 (49.66, 49.93); 5. Jake Peterson and Adam Fenton 1:40.41 (50.07, 50.34); 6. Shane Hook and DeAngelo Wilson 1:41.23 (50.40, 50.83); 7. Bryan Berghorn and Andrew Blaser 1:42.27 (50.89, 51.38);

About the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation
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, Century 21 Real Estate, CEVA Logistics, Under Armour, Kampgrounds of America, Boomerang Carnets, 24 Hour Fitness, KBC Helmets, Eastern European Distribution Company, Azad Watches, Latta USA, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Autism Speaks, Park City Lodging, Inc., EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.

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