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Sliding athletes gather awards

August 27, 2013
By News staff , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - Nine U.S. bobsled and skeleton athletes were honored for their 2012-2013 season accomplishments during a gala at the Conference Center in Lake Placid.

National team bobsled and skeleton athletes were in Lake Placid for a weeklong camp, which included team-building activities, volunteer opportunities and concluded with the sixth annual gala and athlete awards.

The coaching staff selected winners for the athlete of the year and rookie of the year awards, while athletes voted for a team member in their discipline to receive the Athletes' Choice awards.

Noelle Pikus-Pace of Orem, Utah made a historic comeback to the sport of women's skeleton this season to earn the skeleton athlete of the year award. After earning her position on the World Cup team with several medal performances on the North American Cup and Intercontinental Cup tours, Pikus-Pace claimed five World Cup medals, including a victory on the 2014 Olympic track near Sochi, Russia.

Katie Eberling of Palos Hills, Ill. was honored with the women's bobsled athlete of the year award. Eberling completed her second season in the sport with two World Cup medals, and claimed her second career world championship medal with pilot Elana Meyers of Georgia.

Steve Langton was awarded the men's bobsled athlete of the year award for the second time in his career. He earned five World Cup medals this season as a push athlete for Steven Holcomb's two-man and four-man sleds, and helped push USA-1 to a World Championship bronze medal in the four-man event.

Aja Evans of Chicago, Ill. claimed the 2012 national push championship title to help solidify a spot on the World Cup tour in her rookie season. She went on to shatter several start records on tracks around the world, and helped push Meyers to a silver medal performance on the 2014 Olympic track to conclude her first season. Evans proved she is a force to be reckoned with, and was named USBSF rookie of the year.

John Daly of Smithtown was named the skeleton athletes' choice award recipient for his ability to lead the team with humor and humility. Team members presented both Meyers and Maureen Ajoku of San Jose, Calif. with the women's bobsled athletes' choice award.

Athletes submitted nomination forms that attested to Ajoku's work ethic and her willingness to help to everyone on tour, and spoke of Meyers' ability to lead as a role model with positivity.

The men's bobsled team also selected two athletes to receive their Athletes' Choice award.

Curt Tomasevicz of Shelby, Neb. was nominated for being someone team members look up to "day in and day out," and Adam Clark of Owenton, Ky. was selected for his ability to be a team player who focuses on optimal performance when it counts. One nomination form for Clark said that "success happens because of his focus and discipline for quality."



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