2015-2016 USA Bobsled National Team Announced
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (Oct. 26, 2015)- Twenty-three athletes were announced to the 2015-2016 USA Bobsled National Team roster today. Athletes competed in a series of races at Mount Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid, N.Y. in the final step of the selection process to vie for a chance to earn a spot in one of three sleds per discipline this season.
“The 2015-16 team will play an important roll in our preparation for the 2018 Olympic Games,” said USA Bobsled and Skeleton Chief Executive Officer Darrin Steele. “We have been able to build off of the learnings from last season and we have a really impressive recruiting class. We expect a lot from these rookies and they will get the opportunity to show us if they have what it takes to bring home Olympic medals. Our veterans will lead the team and demonstrate our core values of teamwork, commitment and integrity. We have a lot of work to do before 2018, but these athletes have what it takes to get it done and we are very optimistic about our chances to be successful at the Games.”
World Cup bobsled and skeleton racing kicks off in Altenberg, Germany November 30- December 6, 2015 before returning to the U.S. in 2016 with races in Lake Placid, N.Y. from January 5-9 and Park City, Utah from January 11-16. The national team will be split between the first three World Cup races in Europe and the North American Cup races in Calgary and Whistler, Canada before the full team comes together in January for the Lake Placid event.
In men’s bobsled, three-time Olympic medalist Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah), two-time Olympian Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.) and Codie Bascue (Whitehall, N.Y.)
earned their positions as pilots of the three USA men’s sleds.
Men’s push athletes Adrian Adams (Reidsville, N.C.), James Reed (Garmisch, Germany), Carlo Valdes (Newport Beach, Calif.), Casey Wickline (Greenville, S.C.) and Sam Michener (Gresham, Ore.) earned their second career national team berth. Nic Taylor (Hayward, Calif.), who met his wife Elana Meyers Taylor through bobsled in 2011, rejoins the team after a brief hiatus from the sport. Reed, Valdes and Wickline were rookies last season and are now expected to lead six first-year competitors named to the squad.
Athletes who’ve earned their spot on the national team in their rookie seasons include former University of Virginia running back Hakeem Adbul-Saboor (Powhatan, Va.), University of Maine track and field athlete Frank Del Duca (Bethel, Maine), former Oklahoma State wide receiver Nathan Gilsleider (Claremore, Okla.), Belmont University’s former track and field competitor Austin Landis (Nashville, Tenn.), former professional football player Sam McGuffie (Cypress, Texas) and Brown University alumni decathlete Evan Weinstock (San Francisco, Calif.).
In women’s bobsled, two-time Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor (Douglasville, Ga.) earned her position as a pilot on the team after a dominant 2014-2015 season, which was highlighted by a historic victory in the 2015 World Championships and six World Cup wins en route to the overall title. Olympic bronze medalist Jamie Greubel Poser (Newtown, Pa.) swept the women’s selection races in Lake Placid to solidify her spot, and Nicole Vogt
(Dallas, Texas) earned her position as the third ranked women’s pilot after a competitive series of trials races. Vogt was a rower at Kansas State University before she became a bobsledder in 2011. She started as a push athlete before moving into the driver’s seat in the 2012-2013 season, and this is the first season Vogt will compete on the national team.
The pool of women’s bobsled push athletes includes Meyers Taylor’s World Championship teammate Cherrelle Garrett (Hayward, Calif.) and multi World Cup medalist Lauren Gibbs (Los Angeles, Calif.). Three rookies join the roster this season. Former Texas Tech University sprinter Terra Evans (Phoenix, Ariz.), Gardner-Webb University alumni heptathlete Kristen Hurley (Columbia, Conn.) and Baylor University track and field sprinter Kehri Jones (Killeen, Texas) earned their first-year berths on the team.