USA National Bobsled Push Championships Beginning in Lake Placid, NY
18 Sep, 2015
The first step towards making a bid for a spot on the national bobsled team begins this week with 2015 USA National Bobsled Push Championships, powered by BMW, in Lake Placid, N.Y. Pilots will compete on Friday, Sept. 18th at 9 a.m. ET followed by the women's push athletes at 10:30 a.m., while the men's push athletes will compete on Saturday, Sept. 19th at 9 a.m.
BMW, a proud partner of USA Bobsled & Skeleton, works with the team year round to identify opportunities to support key team efforts, including equipment improvements, athlete assistance and future innovation. For the USA National Bobsled Push Championships, BMW has sponsored a total of 15 athletes to offset the costs inherent in participation.
"The National Push Championships is always one of my favorite events of the year," said Darrin Steele, USA Bobsled & Skeleton Chief Executive Officer. "Bobsled is a team sport, so this is one of the rare opportunities our athletes get to go head-to-head as individuals. Every year we get some surprises from our rookie athletes and I expect to see the same this year. BMW has really helped with that effort by providing funding for our top recruits to attend the competition. This event usually gives us our first glimpse of the athletes who will represent us in the Olympic Games and I expect to see that this weekend."
Push championships are mandatory for any athlete that wishes to compete on the national team during the 2015-2016 season. Drivers will analyze push championship results before selecting their team of athletes for national team trials, which begin in Lake Placid next month.
The competition will take place on the wheeled push track at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, and the athlete with the lowest combined time will be declared the winner. Women's competitors will be granted two turns to push from the brakes for a combined time, while the men's total will be a three-run combination of one push each from the brakes, left side and right side of the sled.
The top nine men and six women from preliminary push championships last month have returned to Lake Placid with support from BMW to go head-to-head against the team's veterans. Kehri Jones (Killeen, Texas), a Baylor University track and field sprint athlete, led the women's field to earn her ticket to the national competition. 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. She'll be up against competitors like Cherrelle Garrett (Hayward, Calif.), who made history with Elana Meyers Taylor (Douglasville, Ga.) last season as the first American women to win a bobsled World Championship title, and Lauren Gibbs (Denver, Colo.), who burst onto the scene in her rookie season to finish second at last season's push championships behind only multi Olympic medalist Lauryn Williams.
Hakeem Abdul-Saboor (Powhatan, Va.) won the men's bobsled preliminary push championships by 0.16 seconds. The 27-year-old played running back for the University of Virginia at Wise football team and now focuses on bodybuilding. Abdul-Saboor will be up against veterans like Alex Harrison (Edmonds, Wash.), who edged out a hungry field of rookies to win the 2014 preliminary push championships, and Aaron Victorian (Laie, Hawaii), who won last year's national competition in his rookie season. Both athletes went on to compete in the USA-1 sled driven by three-time Olympic medalist Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah).
Media and fans are encouraged to attend USA National Bobsled Push Championships, powered by BMW. The push track is located at the rear of the Olympic Training Center.
Get updates on the team by following USA Bobsled & Skeleton on Facebook, USBSF on Twitter and USABS on Instagram.
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 Estate, Under Armour, Kampgrounds of America, Boomerang Carnets, Azad Watches, Park City Lodging, Inc., Sixt Rent a Car, Classroom Champions, Aspen Institute's Project Play, Sixt Rent a Car, EDAS/Ripxx, Tesa Tape, UberSense and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USABS website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.