USA Bobsled sweeps three races to dominate Park City North American Cup

Dec. 01, 2017, 4:49 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

USA Bobsled sweeps three races to dominate Park City North American Cup

PARK CITY, Utah (Dec. 1, 2017)- USA Bobsled athletes collected 15 medals in six North American Cup (NAC) races in Park City this week. The team swept the podium in both women’s bobsled races and one of the two-man competitions and earned two medals in the second two-man and each of the four-man races.


World Cup athletes from several different countries made the trip to Park City to get extra races in before heading to Germany for the next set of World Cup races. Team USA’s efforts were led by pilots Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.), Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas), Nicole Vogt (Dallas, Texas) and Elana Meyers Taylor (Douglasville, Ga.), all of whom won at least one gold medal. Cunningham and Olsen each won one of the two-man races and one of the four-man races.


“You go into every race treating it as the best there is on any given day,” Cunningham said of the elevated level of competition. “With all of the variables that go into this sport, to be able to go out there and compete with some World Cup competition was huge. To go 1-2 with Justin in every race was great for us to build some confidence and prepare for the rest of the season.”


In the opening women’s race, Meyers Taylor, along with push athlete Briauna Jones (Charlotte, N.C.), took gold in convincing fashion, beating out silver medalist Vogt, who teamed with Maureen Ajoku (San Jose, Calif.), by 0.73 seconds for the victory. Meyers Taylor and Jones clocked identical start times of 5.12 seconds in each heat, easily the fastest of the race, en route to 49.29 and 49.80 second downtimes, also the fastest of each heat. Vogt and Ajoku were next fastest in each heat, posting runs of 49.70 and 50.12 for silver, while Brittany Reinbolt (Searcy, Ark.) paired with Kehri Jones (Killeen, Texas) for bronze with a combined downtime of 1:39.90.


Fellow American pilot Kristi Koplin (Park City, Utah), who was coming off two medals in last week’s Calgary, Canada NAC races, took sixth with Lolo Jones (Des Moines, Iowa) in the back of her sled.


Vogt came up big on the second day, teaming with Ajoku once again for her first gold medal of the season. The duo clocked times of 50.01 and 50.27 to edge Olympic bronze medalist Jamie Greubel Poser (Newtown, Pa.) and Lolo Jones by 0.19 seconds.


“I'm so proud of how Mo and I competed,” Vogt said. “We were very consistent both days, pushing competitive times every run, which allowed us to contend for medals. This season didn't start how I hoped. Coming out with a gold and silver against a field stacked with World Cup teams is a big confidence boost.”


Greubel Poser piloted her sled to the fastest downtime of the first heat, a 49.88 second run, but fell back to the silver medal position after posting a 50.59 second run in her second heat. Greubel Poser and Lolo Jones also paired for the fastest start times of the day, a 5.24 and 5.25 in the first and second heats, respectively.


Reinbolt and Briauna Jones earned the bronze medal with a combined time of 1:40.49, while Koplin and Kehri Jones took sixth in 1:40.95.


Two-time Olympian Cunningham paired with Chris Kinney (Stockbridge, Ga.) for victory in the opening two-man competition. The duo posted start times of 4.90 and 4.93, the second fastest of each heat, en route to 48.43 and 48.94 downtimes, the fastest of each heat. Cunningham also raced in last weekend’s World Cup two-man race in Whistler, Canada, where he was Team USA’s top finisher in 11th.


“My last couple of times in Park City haven’t gone well,” Cunningham said. “ I missed making the national team here last year, and World Cup this year didn’t go as planned. To leave here with a gold medal and go back to World Cup with a little momentum is huge.”


Meanwhile, Olympic gold medalist Olsen combined with Olympic bronze medalist Chris Fogt (Alpine, Utah) for the fastest start time of each heat, 4.84 and 4.85 seconds, respectively, and finished 0.35 seconds behind Cunningham. Olsen, an up-and-coming pilot, navigated his sled to the finish in 48.75 and 48.97 to beat out teammates Geoff Gadbois (Milton, Vt.) and Nic Taylor (Colorado Springs, Colo.), who took bronze in 1:37.96.


In the second two-man race, Olsen, teaming with Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.), powered off the blocks for 4.84 and 4.89 second pushes, the fastest start time of each heat.


“It was amazing to have the opportunity to make up the disqualification we were given here for the World Cup,” Olsen said. “I’m extremely pleased that we are all healthy moving forward and that we had a chance to get some additional training in the four-man. We look forward to getting back on World Cup.”


Olsen and Langton’s 1:37.88 combined downtime was enough to beat out Cunningham and Nate Weber (Pueblo West, Colo.), who recorded downtimes of 48.94 and 49.19 en route to the silver medal. Rudy Rinaldi and Boris Vain of Monaco earned the bronze with a combined downtime of 1:38.17, and Gadbois and Jimmy Reed (Garmisch, Germany) finished fourth, just missing a medal, in 1:38.54 to round out Team USA’s results.


Olsen, along with Fogt, Langton and Evan Weinstock (Las Vegas, Nev.) won the first four-man race after a strong second heat. Cunningham, Kinney, Sam Michener (Gresham, Ore.) and Ryan Bailey (Portland, Ore.) sat in first between runs, but fell back in the second heat to finish with a combined downtime of 1:36.65. Carlo Valdes (Newport Beach, Calif.) subbed for Bailey in the second heat and helped push the crew to the second fastest start time in the second heat.


Olsen’s crew ended up taking gold after posting the fastest time of the second heat to finish in 1:36.55. Cunningham took his second consecutive silver while the Brazilian team of Edson Bindilatti, Odirlei Pessoni, Edson Martins and Rafael Souza da Silva were 0.46 seconds behind Cunningham and took bronze.


Piloting the first four-man sled driven by a female athlete this season, Meyers Taylor, along with Taylor, Reed and Hakeem Abdul-Saboor (Powhatan, Va.), just missed a medal and finished 0.06 seconds behind the Brazilian team. Meyers Taylor has been working to develop a four-woman event, and has raced in several World Cup, European Cup and NAC competitions with both male and female push athletes.


Gadbois, Frank Del Duca (Bethel, Maine), Brent Fogt (Alpine, Utah) and rookie Kyler Allison (Austin, Texas) posted the third and fifth fastest downtimes of each heat, respectively, to take fifth with a time of 1:37.33.


Cunningham, along with Kinney, Michener and Abdul-Saboor, rounded out the week on a high note, taking gold in the closing four-man race. The crew once again battled it out with Olsen’s team at the start, and Cunningham navigated the track for the fastest downtime of each heat, resulting in a 1:37.02 combined downtime and the gold medal.


“Right now, we have  a brand new crew that raced together for the first time today and won,” Cunningham said. “We’re 1-0, and we’re going to build of that and build off each other and maximize our potential heading into Korea.”


Olsen, Langton, Chris Fogt and Weinstock, who posted the fastest pushes in every heat of every race this week, did so once again with 4.76 and 4.78 start times in each heat. Olsen drove to a 1:37.29 combined downtime, beating bronze medalists Bindilatti, Pessoni, Martins and Souza da Silva by half a second.


Meyers Taylor, with Taylor, Reed and Lou Moreira (Somerville, Mass.) powered the sled off the blocks for 4.96 and 5.01 second start times, the fourth fastest of each heat, en route to fifth place and a 1:37.90 combined downtime. Gadbois, Del Duca, Brent Fogt and Allison were just behind Meyers Taylor’s crew and finished sixth in 1:37.94.


The World Cup team next travels to Winterberg, Germany for next weekend’s World Cup races. The Park City competitions were the last NAC races before the midseason break, and the tour will resume in Lake Placid, N.Y. on January 11.


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


Women’s Bobsled Race #1


1. Elana Meyers Taylor and Briauna Jones (USA) 1:39.09 (49.29, 49.80);

2. Nicole Vogt and Maureen Ajoku (USA) 1:39.82 (49.70, 50.12);

3. Brittany Reinbolt and Kehri Jones (USA) 1:39.90 (49.70, 50.20);

6. Kristi Koplin and Lolo Jones (USA) 1:40.36 (50.01, 50.35);


Two-man Bobsled Race #1


1. Nick Cunningham and Chris Kinney (USA) 1:37.37 (48.43, 48.94);

2. Justin Olsen and Chris Fogt (USA) 1:37.72 (48.75, 48.97);

3. Geoff Gadbois and Nic Taylor (USA) 1:37.96 (48.77, 49.19);


Women’s Bobsled Race #2


1. Nicole Vogt and Maureen Ajoku (USA) 1:40.28 (50.01, 50.27);

2. Jamie Greubel Poser and Lolo Jones (USA) 1:40.47 (49.88, 50.59);

3. Brittany Reinbolt and Briauna Jones (USA) 1:40.49 (50.18, 50.31);

6. Kristi Koplin and Kehri Jones (USA) 1:40.95 (50.48, 50.47);


Two-man Bobsled Race #2


1. Justin Olsen and Steve Langton (USA) 1:37.88 (48.76, 49.12);

2. Nick Cunningham and Nate Weber (USA) 1:38.13 (48.94, 49.19);

3. Rudy Rinaldi and Boris Vain (MON) 1:38.17 (49.00, 49.17);

4. Geoff Gadbois and Jimmy Reed (USA) 1:38.54 (49.09, 49.45);


Four-man Bobsled Race #1


1. Justin Olsen, Evan Weinstock, Steve Langton and Chris Fogt (USA) 1:36.55 (48.15, 48.40);

2. Nick Cunningham, Ryan Bailey, Carlo Valdes, Chris Kinney and Sam Michener (USA) 1:36.65 (48.05, 48.60);

3. Edson Bindilatti, Odirlei Pessoni, Edson Martins and Rafael Souza da Silva (BRZ) 1:37.11 (48.57, 48.54);

4. Elana Meyers Taylor, Jimmy Reed, Nic Taylor and Hakeem Abdul-Saboor (USA) 1:37.17 (48.48, 48.69);

5. Geoff Gadbois, Frank Del Duca, Brent Fogt and Kyler Allison (USA) 1:37.33 (48.48, 48.85);


Four-man Bobsled #2


1. Nick Cunningham, Sam Michener, Chris Kinney and Hakeem Abdul-Saboor (USA) 1:37.02 (48.43, 48.59);

2. Justin Olsen, Evan Weinstock, Steve Langton and Chris Fogt (USA) 1:37.29 (48.52, 48.77);

3. Edson Bindilatti, Odirlei Pessoni, Edson Martins and Rafael Souza da Silva (BRZ) 1:37.79 (48.90, 48.89);

5. Elana Meyers Taylor, Jimmy Reed, Nic Taylor and Lou Moreira (USA) 1:37.90 (48.78, 49.12);

6. Geoff Gadbois, Frank Del Duca, Brent Fogt and Kyler Allison (USA) 1:37.94 (48.73, 49.21);


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, Boomerang Carnets, Hudl Technique, 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.

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