Contact: Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing & Communications Director
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Holcomb/Valdes and Greubel Poser/Gibbs secure USA Bobsled National Championship titles
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (March 20, 2015)- Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) and Carlo Valdes (Newport Beach, Calif.) teamed together in the men’s two-man bobsled race to claim the 2015 USA Bobsled National Championship title, while Jamie Greubel Poser (Newtown, Pa.) and Lauren Gibbs (Denver, Colo.) were victorious in the women’s bobsled competition today at Mount Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid, N.Y. Today marked the first USA Bobsled National Championships held since 2009.
“Their track crew has a great history of putting together a fast track here, and it’s a testament to the work ethic Tony Carlino and his team have to get our athletes within a couple tenths of a second from the track record this late in the season,” said Mike Kohn, USA Bobsled assistant coach. “These athletes showed their true competitive spirits today. Everyone wanted to win, even if the race didn’t have any implications on their rank. They were getting after it. I’m really looking forward to seeing what our athletes do next season.”
Holcomb and Valdes made a statement in the opening heat by throwing down a run of 54.79 seconds, which was just 0.18 seconds from the track record.
“There was nothing on the line for this race, it was just for fun and we had a great day,” said Holcomb, a three-time Olympic medalist. “I saw the skeleton times from earlier and knew they broke the track record, so we were excited to come out and race. The men’s two-man bobsled record, 54.61, has been here since 2003. This was the closest I’ve come to it, and the first time I’ve ever been under 55 seconds.”
The duo clocked start times of 5.19 and 5.26 seconds today. Their first run push of 5.19 was 0.04 seconds faster than Holcomb’s fastest start time in the Lake Placid World Cup race earlier this season.
“Carlo did a fantastic job today,” Holcomb said. “We’re worn out and ready to be done after a long season, but he came out today and pushed hard. It just shows how far we’ve come over the season with these rookies.”
Holcomb and Valdes were fastest off the block in the final run, and Holcomb navigated the sled to the finish in 55.08 seconds to take the lead with a combined time of 1:49.87.
“I wanted to win,” Holcomb said. “Coming off my injury at the Olympics last February, I didn’t perform the way I wanted to this season. For my own self-assurance, I needed to slide well here. I needed to redeem myself in my own eyes, to prove to myself that I still have what it takes.”
Holcomb and Valdes finished a distant 0.83 seconds ahead of the field. Their closest competitors were Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.) and Dustin Greenwood (Palmyra, Va.), who secured the silver medal with runs of 55.30 and 55.40 seconds, totaling 1:50.70. Cunningham shook his head at the finish as Holcomb crossed the line and said, “He just crushed it.”
Codie Bascue (Whitehall, N.Y.) and David Cremin (Annandale, Va.) clocked runs of 55.30 and 55.64 seconds for a combined time of 1:50.94 to claim bronze.
In the women’s race, Greubel Poser and Gibbs were fastest at every split time down the track from start to finish. The duo blasted the sled off the start in 5.63 and 5.67 seconds for runs of 56.73 and 57.01 seconds.
“It’s definitely been a long season and it’s really nice to come back here to Lake Placid,” said Greubel Poser, the 2014 Olympic bronze medalist. “This is where we learned how to drive, so it’s nice to be back in a place that feels like home. The last couple of tracks we were on aren’t as hard as Lake Placid, so it’s a good reminder for our skills to be on fast ice on a tough track. It keeps us on our toes and preps us for next fall.”
Gibbs is a first-year rookie, and she said it felt great to end the season where she started.
“The last time I slid here I was scared out of my mind,” Gibbs said. “This time it felt like coming home. It’s weird to go from not knowing anything about bobsled in August to not being scared to be in the back of a sled six months later. I’m excited for next year.”
The duo clocked a total time of 1:53.74 to finish a solid 0.23 seconds ahead of the competition.
“The race was fun and it was really nice to see all of the new pilots at the top of the track with us,” Greubel Poser said. “I’m really proud of them. They held their composure on fast ice, and they had some big personal records this week. It’s great to end the season on a win and to go home now to start training hard for next season.”
Jazmine Fenlator (Wayne, N.J.) teamed with Ajla Glavasevic (Erie, Pa.) for runs of 56.95 and 57.02 seconds to claim silver with a total time of 1:53.97. Nicole Vogt (Dallas, Texas) and Brooklyn Holton (Pehastic, Wash.) secured bronze with a two-run total of 1:55.80 after sliding to the finish in 57.81 and 57.99 seconds.
Elana Meyers Taylor (Douglasville, Ga.) elected not to compete, opting to forerun and test equipment after a successful season that included a World Cup and World Championship title for the two-time Olympic medalist.
Today’s races conclude the 2014-2015 competitive season. Get updates on the team during the offseason by following USA Bobsled & Skeleton on Facebook, USBSF on Twitter and USABS on Instagram. Media questions can be directed to Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing & Communications Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-354-2250.
1. Jamie Greubel Poser and Lauren Gibbs 1:53.74 (56.73, 57.01); 2. Jazmine Fenlator and Ajla Glavasevic 1:53.97 (56.95, 57.02); 3. Nicole Vogt and Brooklyn Holton 1:55.80 (57.81, 57.99); 4. Brittany Reinbolt and Caitlin Stuetz 1:56.11 (57.88, 58.23); 5. Katelyn Kelly and Sineaid Corley 1:56.13 (57.92, 58.21); 6. Katie Eberling and Leslie Stratton 1:58.16 (58.77, 59.39); 7. Maureen Ajoku and Shelby Williamson 1:59.00 (59.35, 59.65);
1. Steven Holcomb and Carlo Valdes 1:49.87 (54.79, 55.08); 2. Nick Cunningham and Dustin Greenwood 1:50.70 (55.30, 55.40); 3. Codie Bascue and David Cremin 1:50.94 (55.30, 55.64); 4. Colin Coughlin and Brent Fogt 1:52.48 (56.23, 56.25); 5. Geoffrey Gadbois and Shawn Lillie 1:53.14 (56.45, 56.69); Dakarai Kongela and Nic Taylor (56.03, DNF); Jake Peterson and Luis Moriera (DNF);
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, Under Armour, Kampgrounds of America, Boomerang Carnets, Azad Watches, Latta USA, Park City Lodging, Inc., Classroom Champions, EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at www.usbsf.com.