USA Bobsled National Push Championships, powered by BMW, take place Wednesday
Carlo Valdes pushes from the right side of the sled in Calgary. He will compete in the 2016 USA Bobsled National Push Championships beginning Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of Carlo Valdes, Twitter: @CarloValdes_USA)
CALGARY, Canada (Sept. 19, 2016)- The first step towards making the national team begins on Wednesday with the 2016 USA Bobsled National Push Championships, powered by BMW, in Calgary, Canada’s indoor Ice House. A mix of 56 veteran and rookie athletes are entered to compete over the course of the week.
The competition schedule is as follows, with all times listed in MT:
Wednesday, Sept. 21
10 a.m.-12 p.m.: Women’s drivers and men’s push athletes
2-4 p.m.: Men’s drivers and women’s push athletes
Friday, Sept. 23
10 a.m.- 12 p.m.: Men’s two-man combinations
2- 4 p.m.: Women’s two-man combinations
Saturday, Sept. 24
10-11:30 a.m.: Women’s two-man combinations
2-4 p.m.: Men’s three-man combinations
Push championships are mandatory for any athlete that wishes to compete on the national team during the 2016-2017 season. Drivers will analyze results before selecting their team for national team trials, which begin in Lake Placid, N.Y. next month.
BMW, a proud sponsor of USA Bobsled & Skeleton, sponsored the top finishers in both the women’s and men’s preliminary competitions to offset costs inherent to participation in this week’s national event. BMW works with the team year round to identify opportunities to support key team efforts, including equipment improvements, athlete assistance and future innovation.
Notable women’s entrants include the returns of 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Aja Evans (Chicago, Ill.) and track and field standout Lolo Jones (Des Moines, Iowa), who finished 11th at the 2014 Olympic Games. Briauna Jones (Summerville, S.C.), a former track athlete at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, won the preliminary competition last month to earn her ticket to Calgary, and she’s expected to be in medal contention. Accomplished World Cup medalists Cherrelle Garrett (Hayward, Calif.) and Lauren Gibbs (Los Angeles, Calif.), the defending champion, are favorites to win.
Ryan Bailey (Salem, Ore.) ran away with the win in the men’s preliminary competition to earn a ticket to the national contest. Bailey is already well known for his accomplishments as a sprinter. He was the anchor for the 2012 London Olympic Games 4x100m relay team that set an American record of 37.04 seconds, and was fifth in the 100m.
Bailey and Lolo Jones aren’t the only American Olympic sprinters to make a bid for the bobsled team this season. Tyson Gay (Lexington, Ky.), the American record holder in the 100m, is also entered to compete, despite only pushing a sled for a handful of days.
Bailey and Gay will test their mettle against some of the country’s best push athletes, including last season’s two-time World Cup medalist Carlo Valdes (Newport Beach, Calif.) and reigning National Champion Hakeem Adbul-Saboor (Powhatan, Va.).
Updates will be posted on the USABS social media channels throughout the week. For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing & Communications Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (518) 354-2250.
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, Boomerang Carnets, UberSense, Tesa Tape, PVS International, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Stress Engineering, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at www.usabs.com.