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Reinbolt claims USA 3 driver’s seat

October 17, 2017
Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - Brittany Reinbolt teamed with Olympian Lolo Jones to secure her second USA Women's Bobsled National Team Trials win in as many day at Mount Van Hoevenberg on Saturday, earning her the driver's seat of USA-3.

Olympic medalists Elana Meyers Taylor of Douglasville, Georgia and Jamie Greubel Poser of Newtown, Pennsylvania earned byes onto the team thanks to World Championship medal performances last season. Reinbolt claimed her spot as the third and final pilot by sweeping the trials.

"It's a huge weight off my shoulders, but the battle isn't over because now we have to qualify three sleds for the Olympics," said Reinbolt, who hails from Searcy, Arkansas. "As excited as I am, I'm still heartbroken because there are athletes who didn't do as well as they wanted to. Kristi [Koplin], Nicole [Vogt] and Katie [Eberling] have challenged me every single step of the way, and as happy as I am about winning team trials, they're still my teammates."

Reinbolt and Jones powered the sled off the start in 5.53 seconds for a run of 59.28 seconds, which was 0.09 seconds off the pace set by Nicole Vogt of Dallas, Texas and Maureen Ajoku of San Jose, California. Reinbolt and Jones rallied in the second heat for a run of 1:00.42 to overtake Vogt and Ajoku by 0.10 seconds to claim the lead with a combined time of 1:59.70. Vogt and Ajoku were runners-up in 1:59.80.

"I think I tried too hard and wanted it too badly on the first run," Reinbolt said. "I think Lolo and I both felt that way. In the second run, we just relaxed and let the sled fly and it worked out in our favor."

Kristi Koplin of Sandy, Utah and Briauna Jones of Charlotte, North Carolina were third with an aggregate time of 1:59.85.

Meyers Taylor and Greubel Poser were forerunners for the women's race Saturday since they already have a spot on the national team.

Meyers Taylor teamed with three different push athletes over the Friday and Saturday to unofficially set the track record three times. She pushed a 5.41 with Ajoku Friday, a 5.37 with Kehri Jones Saturday's second heat, and 5.35 with Aja Evans in Saturday's opening run. All times are unofficial because Meyers Taylor was not racing, but she is on target to break records throughout this season.

"This is ridiculous," Meyers Taylor said. "This is the fastest we've ever been, from top to bottom, and it's really encouraging. To set these kinds of times with various people is really a testament to our push athletes and the hard work everyone has put in this offseason."

USA Bobsled National Team Trials continued today with the four-man race, and the men's team will be named on Wednesday.



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