Steven Holcomb of Park City teamed with national push champion Chris Fogt of Alpine, Utah, for a record-breaking start time to secure their win in the final men's two-man bobsled selection race Sunday, Oct. 20.
"I'm really excited, this was a great race," Holcomb said. "Fogt stepped up today and showed that he earned his spot on this team. I'm really impressed, especially since my guys are still in training mode."
Holcomb and Fogt pushed 0.02 seconds faster in the first heat than the two-year old start record set by Canadians Justin Kripps and Jesse Lumsden on Nov. 9, 2011, in a North American Cup race. Holcomb and Fogt's push record is unofficial, based on International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation rules, since it was not set during an international race, but the duo is eager to repeat their performance during the World Cup season.
"I was so nervous before this race, I just didn't want to screw up," Fogt said. "I've looked up to the guys on USA-1 since I started competing in this sport and was just named to their team two months ago. I was anxious to get going, anxious to make a statement in the first race. I was definitely more nervous for this race than I was my rookie year."
While Holcomb and Fogt have practiced together on the push track, they had only trained together in a two-man sled down the track five times before Sunday's race.
"It just goes to show how hard Holcomb has worked this offseason as well," Fogt said. "It feels good to get the first race out of the way. I'll spend the next few hours enjoying this win before I start thinking about the four-man races."
Although Holcomb earned a bye onto the national team, he is racing in trials to prepare himself mentally for the upcoming international season. The 2012 world champion piloted his BMW sled to the finish in 48.38 and 48.82 seconds to lead the field by 0.35 seconds (1:37.20).
"I know I need to step up my game because the other drivers are stepping up theirs," Holcomb said. "This is shaping up to be a solid team trials. We've been analyzing the new BMW sleds and making some changes along the way, and hopefully we'll have it all figured out so we're ready to go even faster by the time we're back here for the World Cup."
Bobsled selection races will continue in Park City on Friday with the final women's bobsled race and the first men's four-man bobsled competition. The men will compete in four-man again on Saturday, Oct. 26, before the national team is named on Oct. 27. The national team will race on the World Cup tour, and points earned in World Cup races will play a role in Olympic selection.