PARK CITY — The U.S. women's bobsled team was named Saturday morning, and if the past accomplishments of these women are any indication of their future success, it could be one of the best squads in U.S. history.
"This is the fastest and most prepared group of athletes we've ever seen," said Darrin Steele, U.S. Bobsled & Skeleton Federation CEO. "It was difficult to narrow the women's push field to six, and it will be even more challenging to select the top three for the Olympic team in a few months. The hard work and dedication has paid off, and I couldn't be more proud of all these athletes."
Elana Meyers, Douglasville, Ga., received a bye onto the team for her World Championship silver medal performance last season and will pilot USA-1. Jamie Greubel, Newtown, Pa., solidified her spot on the team after convincingly winning the final selection race Friday night and has been assigned to USA-2, while Jazmine Fenlator, Wayne, N.J., will drive USA-3.
The six women's bobsled push athletes named to the national team include the following, listed in no particular order: 2010 Olympian Emily Azevedo, Chico, Calif.; two-time World Championship medalist Katie Eberling, Palos Hills, Ill.; two-time national push champion Aja Evans, Chicago; world indoor champion and American record holder 100-meter hurdler Lolo Jones, Des Moines, Iowa; Army World Class Athlete Program soldier-athlete Kristi Koplin, Cedar City, Utah; and 100-meter 2004 Olympic silver medalist and 4x100-meter relay 2012 Olympic gold medalist Lauryn Williams, Miami, Fla.
The women raced Friday night for the final time with Greubel winning first, Meyers finishing second and Fenlator third.
“This was a great experience,” Greubel said after Friday's race. “We just switched into the new sleds, and I felt a really good connection with the sled right away so I’ve been enjoying practice and trying to systematically work on my driving and each curve and have a goal. And I think it’s gone really well.”
The drivers have competed with various push athletes in training and competition, something they said they became accustomed to last year.
“We have so many great athletes on the team," Greubel said, "and because last year we switched it up a lot, it kind of felt normal to me, and I know I have confidence with a lot of people in the back of the sled with me. Emily and Katie raced in trials with me, and I couldn’t have asked for better teammates to push me.” The national team will race in a series of eight World Cup events before the season culminates in Sochi, Russia, for the Winter Olympic Games.
The men's bobsled national team will be named Sunday morning following the conclusion of four-man bobsled racing, while the skeleton team will be named after the final two races on Oct. 30.
Twitter: adonsports Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company