Evans breaks record to win women’s title
The previous record was held for eight years
July 28, 2017
Aja Evans broke an eight-year Ice House record en route to winning the women’s 2017 USA Bobsled National Push Championships in Calgary today, making a strong case for her second Olympic team nomination.
“It’s exciting, it feels really good to push this well so early in the season,” Evans said. “It kind of gives me goose bumps. We are usually doing this competition in September, so to know that at this stage in the offseason my training is paying off gives me confidence going into the Olympic season.”
Twelve women raced on Thursday, and the competitor with the lowest two-run combined time from the brakes was declared the winner. Evans left no doubt she was the best women’s push athlete in the country after setting a new Ice House record of 5.39 seconds, breaking the former record of 5.40 set by two-time Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor eight years ago. Evans solidified her win with a second heat time of 5.44 seconds for a total of 10.83, finishing 0.14 seconds ahead of the field.
“There’s always a lot of hype around this competition, especially going into an Olympic year, and I knew I just needed to get through today in order to proceed with my goal of making the national team and hopefully the Olympic team,” Evans said. “This is a stepping stone, and it’s good to know that I can still finish really high without having to change my training schedule as I continue getting stronger and faster.”
Evans won the 2014 Olympic bronze medal with driver Jamie Greubel Poser before taking two years off. She returned last season to earn five World Cup medals with Greubel Poser, including gold on the 2018 Olympic track in Pyeongchang, and the 2017 World Championship bronze medal.
There was a three-way tie for second place after the first heat between Lolo Jones (Des Moines, Iowa), Lauren Gibbs (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Nikia Squire (Columbia, S.C.). All three competitors posted a push time of 5.49 seconds. Jones pulled ahead with a second heat time of 5.48 seconds, securing second place with a combined time of 10.97.
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Gibbs was just 0.01 seconds off Jones’ pace for third place with a total of 10.98 after posting an identical second heat time of 5.49. Squire finished fourth in 11.01 seconds.
Briauna Jones (Charlotte, N.C.) clocked a total time of 11.03 for fifth place, while Meyers Taylor’s World Championship winning push athlete Kehri Jones (Killeen, Texas) was sixth with a time of 11.09.
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