USA BOBSLED/SKELETON ANNOUNCES THE IBSF WORLD CUP BOBSLED TEAM FOR THE 2023/2024 SEASON
by Abby Slenker
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (Nov 20, 2023)- USA Bobsled/Skeleton (USABS) announced the members of the team representing the United States for the 2023/2024 IBSF World Cup competition season. The athletes named are as follows: Lauren Brzozowski, Kaysha Love and Elana Meyers-Taylor for female pilots, Azaria Hill, Jasmine Jones, Jestena Mattson, Sydney Milani and Emily Renna for female push athletes, Frankie Del Duca and Geoff Gadbois for male pilots and lastly Adrian Adams, Hakeem Abdul-Saboor, Jace Johnson, Darius Joseph, Manteo Mitchell, David Simon, Carsten Vissering and Josh Williamson for male push athletes.
Lauren Brzozowski will be entering her first season on the World Cup team after seeing great success on the North American Cup circuit. She has been involved in the sport for four years total. Coming from a strong track and field background, she has successfully transitioned her skills to the ice from her time as a NCAA Division 1 athlete at Elon University. She was the first woman to ever receive the overall monobob award in the IBSF North American Cup (NAC) division.
Kaysha Love was a brakewoman in the 2022 Olympic Games and has since transitioned to the driver’s seat with great success. After beginning her transition into a bobsled pilot less than a year ago, she impressively earned three first-place finishes at theNAC races this past weekend (November 15-19, 2023). While she has been on the World Cup circuit before, this will be her first year there while in the pilot’s seat.
Elana Meyers-Taylor is a four-time Olympian with a total of five Olympic medals (3 silver, two bronze). She has been in the sport of bobsled since 2007 and in her almost two-decade run in the sport, has been on the World Cup team every year besides the two seasons she took off to give birth to her sons. She cites making the US team as a 4-man pilot in 2014 as one of her greatest accomplishments.
Azaria Hill is entering into her rookie season, having only been involved in the sport of bobsled for five months. Impressively in that short period of time, she has seen great success in the world of sliding sports; she had a top-five finish at the 2023 National Push Championships and this past weekend, placed first alongside Love at Day 2 of the NAC 2-Women races.
Jasmine Jones is a push athlete who has raced on the World Cup circuit before.In Park City last November, she slid into a top-three finish and has also been part of the World Championships once before. She is entering into her fifth year in the sport and cites making the World Cup circuit last season after coming back from her pregnancy journey as one of her greatest accomplishments to date.
Jestena Mattson also comes from a track and field background and is entering her second year on the sport and on the World Cup circuit. During this past weekend’s NAC races in Lake Placid, she placed first in 2-Woman alongside Love. She accredits her 5th place finish at Junior World Championships last season also alongside Love as one of the highlights thus far in her sliding career.
Sydney Milani has been involved in the sport of bobsled for one year. Alongside many of her teammates, she comes from the world of track and field and has since learned how to apply her athletic talents from the track onto the ice track. This will be her first year on the World Cup stage.
Emily Renna has four years of bobsled experience under her belt and two years of World Cup sliding. In 2022, she earned a bronze medal in 2-Woman. Earlier this year, she was named the 2023 National Champion in 2-Woman and also placed first in the 2023 National Bobsled Push Championships in the female push athlete category.
Frankie Del Duca is starting his ninth season as a pilot. He has had two years experience on the World Cup circuit as a push athlete, and this will be his second season on the circuit as a pilot. He slid for the US in the 2022 Olympic Games and was the 2021-2022 NAC Champion. He has had many top-six finishes on the World Cup stage thus far.
Geoff Gabois has been involved in the sport for over a decade. In his thirteen years sliding, he has also made multiple top-six World Cup finishes and earned a bronze medal in 2019 at World Championships in a mixed-discipline competition.
Adrian Adams has been sliding in World Cup races since 2014 and various World Championships since 2015. In the 2022 World Push Championships, he impressively placed first in both the 2-Man and 4-Man competitions. This past weekend, he placed first in the second 4-Man competition of the NAC races.
Hakeem Abdul-Saboor is a two-time Olympian, having competed as a push athlete in both the 2018 and 2022 Winter Games. He has been competing in the World Cup circuit since 2016. His athletic background is in basketball, football and track. A strength coach seeing a video of him impressively jumping to touch his head to a ten-foot ceiling is what sparked his transition into the sport of bobsled, where he has seen great success since. Last year, he participated in the 2022/2023 World Championships.
Jace Johnson is entering his rookie year in the sport of bobsled. He comes from a basketball background and has quickly been able to transfer his athletic talents to the bobsledding world. Alongside Adams, he saw his first gold medal in the sport in 4-Man races at the most recent NAC competition.
Darius Joseph is entering his second year in the sport after initially being recruited in July 2022. In his rookie season, he competed in two separate World Cup races, both in Park City, UT and Lake Placid. So far in the sport, he has earned two NAC first-place medals and two NAC second-place metals.
Manteo Mitchell is a Professional Track and Field athlete with a World Championship Gold and an Olympic Silver Medal. During the pandemic, he transitioned into the world of bobsledding. In 2022, he won World Push Championships in the 4-Man competition and a month later, made his World Cup debut in Whistler.
David Simon has been involved in bobsledding since 2016. Since beginning the sport, he has had over a dozen top-six finishes in NAC and Europe Cup (EC) competitions. This will be his first year sliding on the World Cup stage.
Carsten Vissering uniquely comes from a swimming background, having competed for the University of Southern California (USC). Last year was his debut into World Cup sliding, and he also represented the US in the 2022/2023 World Championships in the 4-Man event.
Josh Williamson has been involved in bobsledding for over seven years and has been a push athlete on the World Cup circuit for five years. After taking part in the 2022 Games, he took the 2022/2023 sliding season off due to injury. He has earned two World Cup medals and has competed in World Cup Championships three times.
“This is a great group of athletes who have been selected. Everyone has been training very hard and we are all eager to see that hard work pay off as we start the World Cup season in a few weeks” shared Chris Fogt, USA Bobsled Coach.
USABS will kick off their journeys in World Cup competition season on December 8th in La Plagne, FR.
About USA Bobsled/Skeleton (USABS)
USA Bobsled/Skeleton is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton racing in the United States. Based in Lake Placid, NY, USA Bobsled/Skeleton oversees the development and training of American athletes at all levels of competition.