Courtesy of usabs.com
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - Kyle Wilcox(Tampa, Fla.) and Sylvia Hoffman(Arlington, Texas) won the USA Bobsled Rookie Push Championships on the wheeled push track in Lake Placid, N.Y. today, while Quentin Butler(Corpus Christi, Texas) and Karmin Shute (Fayettevilla, Ga.) were victorious in the USA Skeleton Rookie Push Championships. Forty-two rookie athletes competed – seven women and 35 men.
"I'm really impressed with the quality and talent this pool of athletes displayed at this year's camp," said Director of Athlete Development Mike Dionne. "Quentin was fourteen-hundredths faster than last year's best time, and it was good to see the women's bobsledders so close in times. There's a lot of strong, young talent–we had our first 17-year-old invited to rookie camp–and we're looking forward to sliding camps in November so these athletes can continue their development and success on ice."
Bobsledders pushed from the brakes only while skeleton competitors could choose to push from either the right or left side. All athletes were given the option to take three runs, and the two best push times were combined for a total. The competitors with the lowest combined times were declared the winners.
Shute, a 21-year-old track and field athlete from Birmingham-Southern, was the women's skeleton title winner by one-tenth of a second. Shute crossed the line in 4.08 and 4.18 for a total time of 8.26.
"I have a background in track, I've been running for seven years, and it's actually kind of funny because coach (Mike) Dionne reached out to me in LinkedIn after my national championship for outdoor, and I never really check LinkedIn, and at the beginning of August he messaged me again and asked if I wanted to come to rookie camp," Shute said.
"It just so happened I was on LinkedIn checking the messages, and was like, 'Yes, I'm definitely interested.' I'm not going to lie, when I first started this camp I was scared to jump on the wheeled sled and then I built my confidence up, and now I feel like, alright, I'm ready to get on ice right now," Shute continued. "I'm excited, but I'm still nervous at the same time.
The rookies have a few weeks before they take their first runs on ice in sliding camps to continue their development in the sports.