Langton defends his title as fastest push athlete in the nation

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (Oct. 6, 2012)- Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.) defended his title as the fastest push athlete in the nation by claiming his fourth U.S. National Men’s Bobsled Push Championship title in Lake Placid, N.Y. today. Langton led a field of 39 athletes in one of the toughest battles for the victory in the program’s history.

 “I’m going into my sixth year in the sport and this is definitely the most competitive field I’ve seen,” Langton said. “The rest of the world should be worried. I know for a fact that we have the best athletes, and all three of our sleds will be extremely competitive this season. I just feel so fortunate to be competing against this caliber of a field, and it gives me confidence knowing I can step up and compete with the best.”

Athletes were given the opportunity to push from the brake and side push positions on the wheeled push track, and Langton earned the top spot by pushing the lowest combined time in two heats. The defending World Champion powered off the starting block in the brakeman position for a time of 4.38 seconds, and followed up with a side push time of 4.45 seconds to claim gold with a total of 8.83.

“Every year I need to work harder and harder because the level of athleticism and talent in this sport is exponentially growing,” Langton said. “I treat every year as a new year and know that what happened the previous season doesn’t matter. Luckily I ended up on top, and I’m very grateful to have won another title.”

Former Kentucky University track star Dallas Robinson (Georgetown, Ky.) finished just 0.02 seconds shy of the lead with a combined time of 8.85 seconds. Robinson, a member of the Army’s World Class Athlete Program, began the sport of bobsled last season and said he felt humbled to finish in the top three.

“I couldn’t be in a classier or more achieved group of athletes,” Robinson said. “They are equally as good people as they are athletes. I think for us as push athletes this is the only time we can get individually recognized for the fruits of our labor. It brings us closer together, and it’s always a fun competition.”

Robinson clocked 4.37 seconds from the brakeman position and 4.48 seconds from the side to earn second place.

“Finishing second built a sense of confidence and brings momentum going into the season,” Robinson said. “I was considerably more nervous for this than I’ve ever been on ice. I didn’t sleep last night.”

Olympic and World Champion Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.) proved he’s still one of the strongest push athletes in the country by finishing third in today’s contest with a combined time of 8.98 seconds.

“This was a great way to start the season,” Tomasevicz said. “Being in the training center with the entire team again stirs those competitive feelings and you know it’s time to put the pedal to the metal. There has never been this many guys that have tested this well, and this is one of the fastest and strongest groups I’ve seen in my career. It’s incredible.”

The seasoned veteran posted push times of 4.45 seconds from the brakes and 4.53 seconds from the side for third place.

“Sometimes I admit that I’ve overlooked the real importance of push championships, because the end goal of the season has taken precedence,” Tomasevicz said. “At the same time, this is a good measuring stick to see where you stack up. I feel pretty good, and I’m ready to get the season rolling.”

Coaches and pilots will select teams for upcoming selection races based on push athlete combine test scores and push championship results. Athletes are expected to start on ice training as early as Wednesday.

For media inquiries please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at abird@usbsf.com or 518-354-2250.

Results: total (best brake time, best side push time)

1. Steve Langton 8.83 (4.38, 4.45); 2. Dallas Robinson 8.85 (4.37, 4.48); 3. Curt Tomasevicz 8.98 (4.45, 4.53); 4. Charles Berkeley 9.06 (4.49, 4.57); 5. Adam Clark 9.06 (4.51, 4.55); 6. Johnny Quinn 9.12 (4.54, 4.58); 7. Andreas Drbal 9.12 (4.57, 4.55); 8. Sam Michener 9.13 (4.55, 4.58); 9. Justin Olsen 9.14 (4.55, 4.59); 10. Nic Taylor 9.15 (4.54, 4.61); 11. Jesse Beckom 9.18 (4.57, 4.61); 12. Jacob Miller 9.23 (4.56, 4.67); 13. Pete Yemm 9.24 (4.59, 4.65); 14. Chris Langton 9.26 (4.59, 4.67); 15. Adrian Adams 9.29 (4.62, 4.67); 16. Jordan Quam 9.31 (4.59, 4.72); 17. Michael McCarty 9.32 (4.63, 4.69); 18. Nathan Weber 9.33 (4.60, 4.73); 19. Laszlo Vandraczak 9.36 (4.62, 4.74); 20. JaJonelle DeJamette 9.36 (4.67, 4.69); 21. Kevin Ives 9.39 (4.67, 4.72); 22. Caleb Pelger 9.41 (4.62, 4.79); 23. Adam Blandford 9.43 (4.67, 4.76); 24. Jim Carriel 9.48 (4.73, 4.75); 25. Giorgio Giurdanella 9.49 (4.72, 4.77); 26. Thomas White 9.53 (4.68, 4.85); 27. David Cremin 9.53 (4.72, 4.81); 28. Phil Miller 9.54 (4.71, 4.83); 29. Ree Lightsey 9.54 (4.75, 4.79); 30. Andrew Blaser 9.55 (4.78, 4.77); 31. Zack Langston 9.56 (4.75, 4.81); 32. Colin Aina 9.57 (4.75, 4.82); 33. Justin Wilcox 9.59 (4.77, 4.82); 34. Spencer Nix 9.65 (4.80, 4.85); 35. Erik Baker 9.68 (4.80, 4.88); 36. Jarrod Burton 9.73 (4.87, 4.86); 37. Randy Russell 9.80 (4.85, 4.95); 38. Mickey Dollens 9.84 (4.90, 4.94); 39. Dakarai Kongela 11.55 (5.45, 6.10);

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