Contact: Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing and Communications Director
(518) 354-2250, email@example.com
Del Duca and McConnell win two-man bobsled team trials race in Park City
Photo credit: Molly Choma
PARK CITY, Utah (March 3, 2021)– Frank Del Duca (Bethel, Me.) and Blaine McConnell (Tacoma, Wash.) won a competitive two-man bobsled race that came down to hundredths of a second to take the early lead in the men’s standings at USA Bobsled National Team Trials for the 2021-2022 season. The race meant a lot more than points for Del Duca and McConnell today. McConnell learned that his mom, Tamara McConnell, passed away unexpectedly yesterday.
“The win meant a lot to us, I really wanted to win for (Blaine),” Del Duca said.
“The guys knew, and they’ve been super supportive,” McConnell said.
Del Duca and McConnell made a statement in the men’s two-man bobsled opening heat with the fastest downtime of 48.08 seconds to lead by 0.09 seconds. Del Duca, in his third season driving, knew he couldn’t celebrate a win just yet.
“It was a really tight race,” Del Duca said. “There are two heats, so you don’t celebrate first place after the first run.”
The duo slid to the finish with the third-best time of 48.25 seconds in the second heat, and secured the victory with a combined time of 1:36.33. Del Duca and McConnell had the fourth fastest push times of 5.00 and 5.01 seconds.
“We had a plan for each day of training,” Del Duca said. “Going to the track with a plan really helped us. On race day, when you get up there on the line and you believe in your teammate and he believes in you, you feel like you’re ready for anything.
“It really meant a lot to win this,” Del Duca continued. “Knowing a teammate is going through something and pulling through for him, that’s what this is about.”
Sam Moeller (San Antonio, Texas) and Boone Niederhofer (San Antonio, Texas) rallied back from fifth place after the first heat to second place after posting the fastest time of 48.09 seconds in the final run. Moeller and Nieferhofer were powerful off the block with the quickest push time of 4.93 seconds in both heats. The pair clocked a combined time of 1:36.39 to finish 0.06 seconds from the lead.
Hunter Church (Cadyville, N.Y.) and Hakeem Abdul Saboor (Powhatan, Va.) tied Codie Bascue (Whitehall, N.Y.) and Carlo Valdes (Newport Beach, Calif.) for third place with a two-run total of 1:36.45. Church and Abdul Saboor pushed start times of 4.99 and 4.98 seconds for runs of 48.17 and 48.28 seconds, respectively. Bascue and Valdes posted starts of 4.97 and 5.00 seconds for downtimes of 48.23 and 48.22 seconds.
Geoff Gadbois (Milton, Vt.) and Kris Horn (Pembroke, Mass.) finished fifth with an aggregate time of 1:36.47, followed by Tyler Hickey (Geneva, Ill.) and David Simon (San Antonio, Texas) in sixth with a cumulative time of 1:36.73.
Team trials continue with the two-woman competition at 3 p.m. MST. Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or firstname.lastname@example.org, with media inquiries.
Men’s two-man bobsled
1. Frank Del Duca and Blaine McConnell 1:36.33 (48.08, 48.25);
2. Sam Moeller and Boone Niederhofer 1:36.39 (48.30, 48.09);
3. Hunter Church and Hakeem Abdul Saboor 1:36.45 (48.17, 48.28);
3. Codie Bascue and Carlo Valdes 1:36.45 (48.23, 48.22);
5. Geoff Gadbois and Kris Horn 1:36.47 (48.20, 48.27);
6. Tyler Hickey and David Simon 1:36.73 (48.34, 48.39);
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.