LAKE PLACID, NY - The 2023 Skeleton Selection Races and the USABS National Championships for both Skeleton and Bobsled took place this weekend at Mt. Vanhoevenberg near Lake Placid.
Four total heats (two per day) took place for the Skeleton Selection Races on March 18 - 19. The total of all four runs counting towards the results for the USABS National Championships and the two runs daily count towards the selection process. For each of the Bobsled events, Women's Monobob and 2-Man took place on March 18th and the 2-Woman and 4-Man competitions took place on March 19th.
All of the events took place at Mt. Vanhoevenberg, Team USA's home track in upstate New York. The track is one of the few bobsled tracks in North America and is used by both the US national bobsled team and other international teams for training and competitions. In addition to bobsled, the track is also used for other sliding sports such as luge and skeleton.
USA Bobsled and Skeleton reported on the championships on their website, collecting remarks from many of the athletes that finished atop the podiums. Below, you can learn a little bit more about each of the winning teams and athletes.
In 2-Woman Bobsled, pilot Nicole Vogt placed and brakewoman Emily Renna with a 2-run time of 1:56.00.
The veteran pilot of the winning 2-Woman bobsled team, Nicole Vogt is a Kansas native who now calls Dallas, Texas home. She has been a member of the USA Bobsled team for over a decade and won three-straight gold medals at the Women's Bobsled North American Cup from 2015 to 2017. She will be retiring following her performance at the 2023 National Championships.
“I have decided to retire, so today was my last race. Wrapping up my career on home ice as National Champions with Emily was really special. It's been an honor to represent Team USA and USABS for the past 12 years. Thank you to everyone that's been part of my bobsled journey. I'm excited for the next season of life with time and space for something new,” Vogt said in a recap on the USABS website.
Her teammate and brakeman, Emily Renna is a former sprinter and track athlete at the University of Rhode Island. She raced in her first international competition in 2021 and holds a bronze medal in the 2-Woman competition from the 2022 BMW IBSF Cup.
Also in 2-Woman Bobsled, two athletes discovered through the USABS Digital Combine in 2020 finished on the podium. Riley Compton, a marine and former college softball athlete, and her teammate Macy Tarlton placed 2nd. Another GMTM athlete, former college track and field athlete Lauren Brzozowski, and her teammate Mia Lobel placed 3rd.
In 2-Man Bobsled, Geoff Gadbois and Paul Rabic placed 1st with a 2-run time of 1:54.39.
In Women’s Skeleton, Sara Roderick finished first with a 4-run total time of 3.44.40. She edged teammate Mystique Ro by less than two-tenths of a second, who had a 4-run time of 3.44.64.
“So excited and grateful to be back racing. My team is so fun to be around and it is great to be with them in full health… Stoked to have had some big pushes. Sending speedy recovery and good health to my teammates not here to join and ready to have a strong off-season," said Skeleton athlete Sara Roderick in a USABS recap.
Sara Roderick is a 29-year-old member of the USA Bobsled team hailing from Truro, Massachusetts. She began competing in skeleton after being pushed towards it by her college track coach at Vermont. Learn more about Sara’s story here.
Roderick also took home the Skeleton Fastest Start Award for the women, while Darryl Payne took home the first prize for the men. The Most Consistent Award was awarded to Nick Tucker on the men's side and Michelle Toukan claimed it for the women's sliders.
In Men’s Skeleton, Austin Florian placed first with a 4-run combined time of 3.38.47.
“Finished up the season on a high note by winning trials and national championships. It’s been an awesome season and I’m very happy with my results. I am very ready to take some time off and recharge,” Florian shared with USABS about his triumphant season-ending performance.
Florian was an alpine ski racer and a two-time All-American at Clarkson University before becoming a Skeleton athlete. The 29-year-old Connecticut native is also an Olympian.
In the new women's-only Olympic Sport, Monobob, two GMTM athletes - Lauren Brzozowski and Riley Compton - placed 1st and 2nd respectively.
USA Bobsled & Skeleton has another exciting weekend right around the corner. The North American Cup (NAC) comes to Mt. Vanhoevenberg on March 24-27. You can follow that event at the USA Bobsled & Skeleton website.
Abby Slenker is the Digital Media & Communications Manager for USA Bobsled & Skeleton.