Steven Holcomb wins four-man race |

Steven Holcomb wins four-man race

Submitted by USA Bobsled and Skeleton,

Steven Holcomb (Park City) assembled a new team of Frank Del Duca (Bethel, Maine), Carlo Valdes (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Sam McGuffie (Cypress, Texas) to help push him to victory in the four-person bobsled national team selection race at Mount Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid, N. Y., Sunday morning. Athletes were racing to be in one of three sleds per gender named to the national team.

"Over the past few years my two-man results have come around, which was exciting to have happen — it only took me 15 years — but it’s fun getting back into four-man," Holcomb said. "It’s where I’m most comfortable. Today was a heck of a race and it shows that we’re competitive. We have four solid push teams, which is exciting. Trials are all fun and games, but we need to show results on the World Cup and make sure we’re a powerhouse again, and I think we are. We showed it today."

Holcomb, Del Duca, Valdes and McGuffie pushed a first run start time of 5.07 seconds for a run of 55.68 seconds to put them in the lead by mere hundredths of a second. The crew stepped it up in the final heat by powering the sled off the block in 5.03 seconds, and Holcomb piloted the team to a solid victory with a combined time of 1:51.86.

Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.), Casey Wickline (Greenville, S.C.), James Reed (Garmisch, Germany) and Sam Michener (Gresham, Ore.) combined forces for the fastest start times of the competition, 5.04 and 5.02 seconds. Cunningham piloted the team to just 0.03 seconds from the lead after the first heat with a run of 55.71 seconds. Despite an even faster push in the second run, the team slipped 0.16 seconds behind three-time Olympic medalist Holcomb to remain in second place with a combined time of 1:52.02.

Codie Bascue (Whitehall, N.Y.) and his push crew of David Cremin (Annandale, Va.), Nathaniel Gilsleider (Randolph, Maine) and Evan Weinstock (San Francisco, Calif.) finished third after clocking times of 56.00 and 56.74 seconds for an aggregate time of 1:52.74. Team Bascue posted push times of 5.08 and 5.06 seconds.

Elana Meyers Taylor (Douglasville, Ga.) was one of just two women’s pilots in the world to compete in the four-person discipline during the 2014-2015 World Cup tour and she’s in the driver’s seat of a four-person sled again this year. The discipline was reserved for only men before last season. Meyers Taylor teamed up with Austin Landis (Nashville, Tenn.), Adrian Adams (Reidsville, N.C.) and her husband, Nic Taylor (Hayward, Calif.), to finish fourth with a two-run combined time of 1:53.22. The crew posted respectable start times of 5.17 and 5.16 seconds for runs of 56.07 and 57.15 seconds, respectively.

World Cup bobsled and skeleton racing returns to Lake Placid Jan. 5-9, 2016.

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