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Lake Placid to Host USA Bobsled National Push Championships

2 Sep, 2015


September Contest Will Feature Chance at National Team Trials

Nine men and six women will be flown to Lake Placid, N.Y. this month to participate in USA Bobsled National Push Championships, courtesy of BMW, based on their performances in today's preliminary push championships held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid.

USA Bobsled National Championships will be held from Sept. 18-19 in Lake Placid, where competitors will compete head-to-head to earn a position in a sled for the 2015-2016 National Team Trials in October.

BMW, a proud partner of USA Bobsled & Skeleton (USABS), is sponsoring the USABS Ultimate Athlete Challenge. 

"We expanded our recruiting initiative this season and the results so far have been really promising," said USABS CEO Darrin Steele. "Thanks to BMW, the top recruits will be funded to national push championships, where we'll be able to get our first look at how they stack up against the veterans. We expect to have the fastest starts in the world at the 2018 Games and this is the first step to getting there."

Sixteen women and 20 men were invited to a weeklong camp in Lake Placid, which culminated with the preliminary push championships. Invitations were offered to athletes that scored 450 points or higher in combine test events held throughout the nation. Competitors were tested in the 15, 30, 45, 60 and 30-meter fly sprints in addition to the standing broad jump and shot toss.

Athletes learned how to push a bobsled, took a track walk, and had the chance to train alongside veteran athletes like 2010 Olympic champion Justin Olsen. The push competition was held on the wheeled push track located on the U.S. Olympic Training Center grounds. Women's competitors were allowed two pushes from the brakes for a combined time, while the men's total time was a combination of one push each from the brakes, left side and right side of the sled. The top nine men and six women from the competition were extended an invitation to return to Lake Placid for USA Bobsled National Championships, with travel expenses paid for by BMW.

Kehri Jones (Killeen, Texas), a Baylor University track and field sprint athlete, led the women's field with a two-push combined time of 9.87 seconds to earn her ticket to the national contest. The 21-year-old was named 2014 All-Big 12 Outdoors in the 100 meters and 4x100-meter relay, and 2014 All-Big 12 Indoors in 60 meters. Jones pushed an impressive 0.35 seconds faster than second place competitor Kristen Hurley (Columbia, Conn.) Hurley is a Gardner-Webb University graduate, where she won two Big South pentathlon crowns at Big South Indoor Championships. Hurley clocked a two-push total of 10.22 seconds.

Seun Adigun (Evanston, Ill.) finished third in 10.24 seconds. Adigun is a former hurdler for the University of Houston and she had an accomplished collegiate career, highlighted by five Conference USA titles, four NCAA Regional and six NCAA Championship appearances. Adigun also competed internationally for Nigeria and competed in the 2012 London Olympics, where she competed in heats of the 100-meter hurdles.

Malaikah Love (Carbondale, Ill.) and Bonnie Kilis (Marlborough, Conn.) finished fourth and fifth, respectively, to earn their return ticket to Lake Placid for USA Bobsled National Push Championships, while Jallycia Pearson (El Paso, Texas) and Terra Evans (Phoenix, Ariz.) tied for sixth to earn the final ticket awarded to the women's field via the BMW Ultimate Athlete Challenge. Pearson has school commitments that will prevent her from competing in September, but Evans has accepted and will return to compete.

Hakeem Abdul-Saboor (Powhatan, Va.) won the men's bobsled preliminary push championships by 0.16 seconds with a three-push combined time of 13.56. Abdul-Saboor's best push was 4.45 seconds from the brakes. The 27-year-old played running back for the University of Virginia at Wise football team and now focuses on bodybuilding.

Sam McGuffie (Cypress, Texas) finished second with a time of 13.72. McGuffie starred as a high school running back for Cy-Fair High School in Cypress, which garnered attention from college football scouts. McGuffie competed at the University of Michigan before transferring to Rice University after his freshman season. He had contracts with several professional teams including the Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals, New England Patriots and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Frank Del Duca (Bethel, Maine), a track and field competitor at the University of Maine, finished third in 13.73.

Athletes also receiving return tickets to USA Bobsled National Push Championships are fourth through ninth place finishers Austin Landis (Nashville, Tenn.), David Simon (Tacoma, Wash.), Nathan Gilsleider (Claremore, Okla.), Nathaniel Meade (Randolph, Maine), Evan Weinstock (San Francisco, Calif.) and Brent Fogt (Alpine, Utah).

Get updates on the team by following USA Bobsled & Skeleton on Facebook, USBSF on Twitter and USABS on Instagram. Media questions can be directed to Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing & Communications Director, at amanda.bird@usabs.com or 518-354-2250.

About USA Bobsled & Skeleton: USA Bobsled & Skeleton, based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. The USABS would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Century 21 Real EstateUnder Armour, Kampgrounds of AmericaBoomerang Carnets, Azad WatchesPark City Lodging, Inc., Sixt Rent a Car, Classroom Champions, Aspen Institute's Project Play, Sixt Rent a CarEDAS/Ripxx, Tesa Tape, UberSense and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USABS website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.

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