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USA Bobsled & Skeleton athletes take first runs of the season

October 19, 2018
Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - Winter has arrived in Lake Placid after a week of summer temperatures that threatened to push back opening day at the Olympic Sports Complex.

The track crew salvaged the ice despite the challenging conditions at Mount Van Hoevenberg, and the venue opened Monday, Oct. 15 for Team USA's bobsled and skeleton athletes to take their first runs of the 2018-2019 season.

USA Luge athletes also began practicing Monday.

Article Photos

USA bobsledders Elana Meyers Taylor, right, and Lauren Gibbs — who won a silver medal together during the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea — take a run down the sliding track at Mount Van Hoevenberg Monday, Oct. 15. They were the first bobsledders to head down the track during practice. Earlier in the day, skeleton and luge athletes practiced. It was the first day of sliding for the season on the track.
(News photo — Andy Flynn)

"As always, track manager Tony Carlino and his crew did an excellent job getting the ice ready for us," said USA skeleton head coach Tuffy Latour. "It was 70 degrees last week, but they battled through that to give us great conditions for the first day on the track."

Opening day of a new season also means first-ever trips down the track for rookie bobsledders who were recruited over the summer. Sylvia Hoffman (Arlington, Texas), the recently crowned women's USA bobsled national push champion, was one of the rookies to take a first ride, and the anticipation of her first crash was over when she was in a sled that crashed in the second training run.

"Sylvia bounced back and returned to the top with her helmet on, ready to go again," said USA bobsled head coach Mike Kohn. "The energy was high. No one was throwing up, no one was complaining, no one ran away - at least not yet. The veterans stepped up today and gave the rookies direction, and the motivation level is high. Justin (Olsen) and Codie (Bascue) were impressive on day one, getting after it right off the bat with fast push times. Frankie (del Duca) took his first trip as a driver off the top, and Elana (Meyers Taylor) drove well and had great runs today. It's all very promising, and we're looking forward to seeing how trials shake out these next two weeks."

Athletes have just five training days after the long off-season before the first of three selection races on Saturday, Oct. 20. The schedule is as follows, with all times listed in EST:

Saturday, Oct. 20

9:30 a.m. to noon: Skeleton race 1

4 to 6 p.m.: Women's and men's two-man bobsled race 1

Wednesday, Oct. 24

4 to 6 p.m.: Women's and men's two-man bobsled race 2

Thursday, Oct. 25

12:30 to 3 p.m.: Skeleton race 2

4 to 6 p.m.: Four-man bobsled race

Friday, Oct. 26

12:30 to 3 p.m.: Skeleton race 3

The USA Bobsled & Skeleton National Team is scheduled to be named after the conclusion of selection races on Friday, Oct. 26.



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