Hoffman, Williamson earn 2018 USA Bobsled National Push Championship titles; Jones, Del Duca top pilots

Sept. 28, 2018, 3:27 p.m. (ET)

 

Contact: Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing & Communications Director
(518) 354-2250, 
amanda.bird@usabs.com

 

Full results from 2008-2018 can be found here.



Hoffman, Williamson earn 2018 USA Bobsled National Push Championship titles; Jones, Del Duca top pilots

 

LAKE PLACID, N.Y.(Sept. 28, 2018)- Sylvia Hoffman(Arlington, Texas) and Josh Williamson(Lake Mary, Fla.) finished with convincing leads to earn the title as 2018 USA Bobsled National Push Champions in their respective divisions in Lake Placid, N.Y. today. Briauna Jones(Charlotte, N.C.) was victorious in the women’s driver/monobob competition, while Frankie Del Duca(Bethel, Maine) topped the men’s driver field. Hoffman, Williamson, Jones and Del Duca are all first-time push champions.

“It’s promising to see this kind of talent as we start a new Olympic quad,” said USA Bobsled Head Coach Mike Kohn. “What I’m really excited about is their professionalism and attitude they bring every day. These athletes are polite and cordial and fun to be around. They aren’t taking this opportunity for granted and it’s a pleasure for us to have that type of athlete coming in the door.”

“We have an opportunity to make a statement this season after not performing the way we wanted to at the Olympics, and we certainly have the recipe here with this group to put some great teams together,” said USA Bobsled Driving Coach Brian Shimer. 

Hoffman dominated the USA Bobsled Rookie Push Championships in August to earn a spot in the national competition. The 29-year-old played basketball and also competed in weightlifting. Her strength and speed has translated over to bobsled, and she claimed her first national title with a two-run combined time of 9.69 seconds. She was tied for second after the first heat, three-hundredths off the pace set by 2018 Olympic silver medal push athlete Lauren Gibbs(Los Angeles, Calif.), but rallied in the second and third heats with starts of 4.84 and 4.85 seconds to take the lead by one-tenth of a second overall. Only the best two of three heats were combined for the total time. 

“I’m excited and really happy about my performance,” Hoffman said. “There’s still work that needs to be done as far as the crossover from weightlifting to bobsled, and I’m taking it one day at a time. I’m listening to the coaches, receiving feedback so they can help me get better as a push athlete, and I’m really excited.”

Hoffman competed in a combine over the summer and will get her first trip in a sled in just a few weeks when the track is iced in Lake Placid. She said she’s heard that running on ice is different than running on solid ground and she “wants to make sure I’m taking the proper steps to get my body ready.”

“I’m going to slip, I’m going to fall, it’s all going to happen, but I know I need to remain calm and focused,” Hoffman said. “I learned what works for me over the years from playing basketball, volleyball, running track and weightlifting and I’m applying that to bobsled. I’m not going into this thinking it’s going to be a piece of cake, I know I need to be ready and prepared. I don’t always think of the worst, but I do think of extremes and if they happen, at least I’m prepared. If they don’t, then it’s like, ‘Yay.’ It’s about the small victories and mental preparation.”

Gibbs followed up her first run of 4.89 with identical starts of 4.90 seconds in heats two and three. Her times of 4.89 and 4.90 combined for a 9.79 to place her in second. 

National team veteran Jones finished third with a total time of 9.80 seconds. Her best two of three pushes were both 4.90 seconds. Jones was an alternate push athlete on the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team and she will spend time in the driver’s seat this season.

Jessica Davis(Long Beach, Calif), who was runner-up in the USA Bobsled Rookie Push Championships last month, finished just behind Jones in fourth with a total time of 9.84 seconds.

The men’s athlete with the lowest combined time over three heats—one heat from the brakes, one from the left side and one from the right side—was named champion. Willamson took the title with a combined time of 12.97 seconds. He clocked a start time of 4.25 from the brakes, 4.33 from the left, and 4.39 from the right.

Williamson took part in the filming of “Scouting Camp: The Next Olympic Hopeful” to try out for the sport of skeleton last season, and five months later he was pushing sleds for Olympic medalists. One week after filming, Williamson competed in his first USA Bobsled National Push Championships in Calgary, Alberta, where he finished 19th out of 26 after just a few days of pushing a sled on ice. Now, one year later, he’s a national push champion.

“I feel good,” Williamson said. “It was obviously a great day, and the entire program looks stacked this year. I’m excited for the season to come around. My goal every year is to improve. I have a lot to work on, and I’m still very new and the only way to get better at bobsledding is to bobsled. I’m excited to get back on the ice. It’s exciting to start the season with a win in push championships, but it’s fun knowing that everyone is doing well and we’re in a position to put the pilots in a good place to win races.”

Christopher Kinney(Stockbridge, Ga.) and Hakeem Abdul-Saboor (Powhatan, Va.), both 2018 Olympians, finished second and third. Kinney was the closest competitor to Williamson with a three-run combined time of 13.10 seconds. He pushed 4.33 from the brakes, 4.38 from the left and 4.39 from the right. Abdul-Saboor clocked a total of 13.14 after pushing 4.31 from the brakes, 4.40 from the left and 4.43 from the right.

“Josh has a bright future,” Kohn said. “He’s been with us for a year now and he really dedicated himself to his training this summer, and it showed. He outperformed everyone by a lot, and outperformed our expectations. And Sylvia is down there lifting weights right now. That’s the kind of commitment we’re looking for. Her willingness to work is impressive.”

In the driver/monobob competition, female pilots took one heat from the driver’s bar and one heat from the monobob position on the brakes, and the lowest combined time over the two heats was declared the winner. Jones, who was third in the push competition this morning, came out on top in the driver’s division. Jones pushed 4.33 seconds from the driver’s bar, and 4.89 seconds from the monobob position for a total time of 9.22.

“I feel really good about today and my results,” Jones said. “I had a lot of ups and downs this summer, so to come out here today and put down a solid performance feels amazing. Going forward, I plan to focus the first half of the season towards driving and learning the ropes of piloting. Closing out the season, I want to return as a brakeman and hopefully push at world championships. Doing well for both brakeman and pilot push championships sets me up perfectly to do both. This will be a learning year for me as much as it will be a year for me to come back for some unfinished business post Olympic Games.”

Lake Kwaza(Sycamore, Ill.) finished second in 9.34 followed by three-time Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor(Douglasville, Ga.) in third with a combined time of 9.36. Meyers Taylor spent most of her offseason recovering from an injury, and is gaining her strength and speed back daily as she continues her training and rehabilitation plan.

Monobob was announced as a new women’s discipline for the 2022 Olympic program following an International Olympic Committee Executive Board meeting in July.  The 2018-2019 season will be the first time the event is hosted on the World Cup.

The male pilots pushed both heats from the driver’s bar. Del Duca was the top finisher with a total time of 7.82 seconds after clocking starts of 3.91 in both heats. Del Duca spent a number of years on the national team as a push athlete, but has transitioned to the driver’s seat.

“I’m grateful for the USABS sports med staff and volunteers who got me ready for this despite a back injury this summer,” Del Duca said. “Also, if it wasn’t for words of wisdom from my teammates and fellow competitors, I wouldn’t feel nearly as comfortable pushing from the driver bar. I’m excited to get back on ice and continue to learn from some great role models and coaches. We have rookies who are eager to learn, and I look forward to sliding with them, sharing what I learned as a push athlete while continuing this new chapter as a driver.”

Olympic champion Justin Olsen(San Antonio, Texas) was second with a combined time of 7.84, while Texas A&M football alum Sam Moeller(Houston, Texas) finished third in 7.96.

“Frankie looked great today and is using his skills from the time he spent as a brakeman to be a strong pusher from the driver’s bar,” Kohn said. “Bri us one of those multi talented athletes that’s good at everything, and she pushed well in both events. We’re looking forward to watching them both grow as they continue their development in the front seat.”

Following the head-to-head competitions today, combinations will be assembled to push together tomorrow to start the first round of testing for the upcoming season.

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

Results

Women’s push results
1. Sylvia Hoffman 9.69 (4.84, 4.85);
2. Lauren Gibbs 9.79 (4.89, 4.90);
3. Briauna Jones 9.80 (4.90, 4.90);
4. Jessica Davis 9.84 (4.92, 4.92);
5. Lake Kwaza 9.91 (4.95, 4.96);
6.  Jasmine Jones 9.97 (4.97, 5.00);
7. Nicole Brungardt 10.07 (5.04, 5.03);
8. Terra Evans 10.27 (5.11, 5.16);
9. Kyle Plante 10.27 (5.12, 5.15);
10. Tiffeny Parker 10.30 (5.15, 5.15);

Men’s push results (brake, left, right)
1. Josh Williamson 12.97 (4.25, 4.33, 4.39);
2. Christopher Kinney 13.10 (4.33, 4.38, 4.39);
3. Hakeem Abdul-Saboor 13.14 (4.31, 4.40, 4.43);
4.  Jimmy Reed 13.24 (4.39, 4.43, 4.42);
5. Nic Taylor 13.27 (4.40, 4.45, 4.42)
6. Adrian Adams 13.30 (4.40, 4,44, 4.46);
7. Kyle Wilcox 13.31 (4.41, 4.44, 4.46);
8. Kyler Allison 13.35 (4.44, 4.45, 4.46);
9. Jake Gourley 13.42 (4.41, 4.50, 4.51);
10. Sam Moeller 13.51 (4.50, 4.48, 4.53);
11. Kristopher Horn 13.53 (4.50, 4.50, 4.53)
12. Dakota Lynch 13.59 (4.49, 4.54, 4.56);
13. Fabian Griffith 13.64 (4.46, 4.60, 4.58);
14. Jamil Muhammad-Ray 13.66 (4.54, 4.54, 4.58);
15. Chris Avery 13.67 (4.56, 4.54, 4.57);
16. Phillip Redrick 13.69 (4.53, 4.53, 4.63);
17. Michael Fogt 13.87 (4.61, 4.61, 4.65);
18. Chris Walsh 13.92 (4.57, 4.68, 4.67);
19. Morgan Tilong 14.01 (4.60, 4.66, 4.75);
20. Dominic Crucitti 14.73 (4.83, 4.92, 4.98);

Women’s driver/monobob results
1. Briauna Jones 9.22 (4.33, 4.89);
2. Lake Kwaza 9.34 (4.36, 4.98);
3. Elana Meyers Taylor 9.36 (4.38, 4.98);
4.  Jasmine Jones 9.65 (4.59, 5.06);
5. Kristi Koplin 9.69 (4.50, 5.19);
6. Brittany Reinbolt 9.72 (4.56, 5.16);
7. Lauren McDonald 9.78 (4.61, 5.17);
8. Nicole Vogt 9.83 (4.54, 5.29);
9. Shelby Williamson 9.90 (4.61, 5.29);

Men’s driver results
1. Frankie Del Duca 7.82 (3.91, 3.91);
2. Justin Olsen 7.84 (3.91, 3.93);
3. Sam Moeller 7.96 (3.97, 3.99);
4. Codie Bascue  8.12 (4.07, 4.05);
5. Hunter Church 8.22 (4.09, 4.13);
6. Tyler Hickey 8.29 (4.14, 4.15);
7. Geoff Gadbois 8.59 (4.30, 4.29);

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 Research, Boomerang Carnets, Hudl, Tesa Tape, PVS International, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website atwww.usabs.com.

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