Pac, Kohn win bobsled trial races
The U.S. Bobsled National Team Trials got off to fast start under sunny skies at the Utah Olympic Park on Sunday morning. Erin Pac (Farmington, Conn.) won the women’s bobsled event and Mike Kohn (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) came in first in the men’s two-man race.
The competition kicks off the first of four days of trials to determine the 2007-08 World Cup team. The selections are based on results from this week and last week in Lake Placid. Park City native Steve Holcomb, who was the 2007 Overall World Cup Champion, received an automatic place on the World Cup team this year.
Pac and brakewoman Michelle Rzepka (Novi, Mich.) enjoyed their third straight win in a row with runs of 50.43 seconds and 50.55 for a combined time of 1:40.98. Kohn’s victory was his second of the year with a combined total time of 1:37.93 after runs of 48.96 and 48.97.
"I feel really good," Kohn said after the race.
He attributed much of his success to his new brakeman, Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.).
"He’s one of the best athletes I’ve ever seen," Kohn said. "He could be better than anyone we’ve ever had.
Langton wasn’t the only rookie to have a good day. Grayson Fertig (Oxford, Conn.) came in second place with the aid of his new brakeman, Charles Berkeley (Concord, Calif.), finishing with runs of 49.26 and 49.21 for a combined total of 1:38.47.
"He had some really great pushes," Fertig said. "There’s a lot of talent coming in."
Fertig and Berkeley were also right behind Kohn and Langton with the two fastest push times of the day. Kohn’s team had starts of 4.91 and 4.89, while Fertig and Berkeley pushed for starts of 4.7 and 4.96. They were the only two teams to go sub-five seconds in their starts on the day.
Jamia Jackson (Flagstaff, Ariz.) and Elana Meyers (Fairburn, Ga.) took second in women’s bobsled race with a combined time of 1:42.20. Bree Schaaf Boyer and Jazmine Fenlator (Ewing, N.J.) took third.
Parkite Stephan Bosch and Theron Johnson took third in the men’s event.
The Olympic silver medal duo Shauna Rohbock (Orem, Utah) and Valerie Fleming (Foster City, Calif.) also received a bye onto this year’s World Cup bobsled team.
National bobsled team trials will continue at the UOP this weekend. For-man races for both men and women will be held Friday and Saturday at 9 a.m. Men’s and women’s skeleton trials will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
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