Contact: Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing and Communications Director
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Hoffman and Del Duca earn titles in first day of 2021 USA Bobsled Push Championships
Photo: Sylvia Hoffman prepares at the start
Lake Placid, N.Y. (July 30, 2021) – Sylvia Hoffman (Arlington, Texas) and Frank Del Duca (Bethel, Me.) kicked off the 2021-2022 season with wins in their respective USA Bobsled Push Championship races this morning in Lake Placid’s new state-of-the-art Ice House facility. The competition, presented by Mananalu Water, is one in a series of qualifying events to earn a spot on the national team.
“Competing in the new facility creates a whole new atmosphere,” Del Duca said. “With the sled on ice, the huge pictures of past World Cups hung on the walls, and with fans and friends watching- it’s inspiring.”
Athletes competed in two heats with an optional third heat. The best two times were combined to determine the winner.
Hoffman was crowned the 2021 USA Women’s Bobsled Push Champion with a two-run combined time of 11.21 seconds after clocking starts of 5.60 and 5.61 seconds. Her first run time set an Ice House record.
“I feel really good and this feels amazing,” Hoffman said. “I wanted to come out and lay down the times that I did and I was so happy to set the track record.”
Hoffman is making a bid for her first Olympic Team nomination. She was recruited after competing in Team USA’s The Next Olympic Hopeful, and the former LSU-Shreveport basketball player made the women’s bobsled team in her rookie season. Almost four years later, she’s vying for an Olympic spot.
“I had some issues trying to get back into training after this past season until I came back to Lake Placid to get more treatment between hard training sessions,” Hoffman said. “Sports medicine has really taken care of me. I had to quarantine during training, and I wasn’t sure what to expect going into the competition. Everyone was so supportive. I can’t wait to take a moment to breathe and get ready for next month’s combination pushes.”
Aja Evans (Chicago, Ill.), who won the 2014 Olympic bronze medal with Jamie Greubel Poser, posted a total time of 11.23 seconds. She matched Hoffman’s fastest time of 5.60 seconds, and clocked a second run time of 5.63 seconds.
Lauren Gibbs (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Lake Kwaza (Sycamore, Ill.) tied for third with a combined time of 11.40 seconds. Both athletes posted identical starts of 5.69 and 5.71 seconds. Gibbs won the 2018 Olympic silver medal with Elana Meyers Taylor, and Kwaza returned to the brakes after spending some time in the driver’s seat. Kwaza is a member of the Army’s World Class Athlete Program, and is a multi World Cup medalist.
Lolo Jones (Des Moines, Iowa) was scratched today due to an injury.
Del Duca won the 2021 Men’s Bobsled Driver’s Push Championship title with a total time of 10.79 seconds after pushing 5.32 and 5.34 seconds. Del Duca is also a member of the Army’s World Class Athlete Program. He switched from the back of the sled, racing with pilots like Steven Holcomb, before moving into the driver’s seat.
“It’s hard to put into words how much what we do means to me,” Del Duca said. “I love this team, and this sport. I put my heart and soul into this, and am excited for the season.
“The drivers have all been working hard, training to be ready for a demanding season,” Del Duca continued. “For where we are in training, I think we had some solid performances. I believe we all had personal bests today. It gives us a nice baseline going into the rest of the off-season so we can track our progress and continue to push ourselves.”
Derek White (Oxford, Miss.) finished second with a two-run total of 10.85 seconds. White clocked starts of 5.38 and 5.39 seconds. White is a recent graduate and track and field alumni from Indiana Institute of Technology, and is an associate track coach at Northwest Tech.
Olympian Codie Bascue (Whitehall, N.Y.) clocked start times of 5.49 seconds in two heats for a total time of 11.00 seconds to finish third.
The 2021 USA Bobsled Push Championships, presented by Mananalu Water, continues tomorrow with the women’s driver’s and the men’s push athlete competitions. Racing will begin at 10 a.m. EST, and will be broadcast live on the USA Bobsled/Skeleton Facebook page.
Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or email@example.com, for more information.
Women’s push athletes
1. Sylvia Hoffman 11.21 (5.61, 5.60);
2. Aja Evans 11.23 (5.63, 5.60);
3. Lauren Gibbs 11.40 (5.69, 5.71);
3. Lake Kwaza 11.40 (5.71, 5.69);
5. Kehri Jones 11.67 (5.82, 5.85);
6. Nicole Brungardt 11.68 (5.84, 5.84);
7. Emily Renna 11.71 (5.85, 5.86);
8. Kelsey Kiel 11.80 (5.88, 5.92);
9. Tiffany Parker 11.83 (5.93, 5.90);
1. Frank Del Duca 10.79 (5.32, 5.34);
2. Derek White 10.85 (5.38, 5.39);
3. Codie Bascue 11.00 (5.49, 5.49);
4. Hunter Church 11.11 (5.53, 5.55);
5. Tanner Grzesiek 11.14 (5.57, 5.56);
6. Tyler Hickey 11.27 (5.58, 5.63);
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. For
more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com. Individuals
interested in becoming a bobsled or skeleton athlete can visit www.usabobsledskeleton.com.