American track star turned bobsledder Lolo Jones kicked off her new career nicely on Friday, finishing second at her winter sports debut during an event in Lake Placid, N.Y.
The London 100m hurdler teamed with pilot Jazmine Fenlator and clocked a time of 1:54.39 to finish less than a half second behind Canadian world champ Kaillie Humphries and her brakeman Chelsea Valois. Gold medal 4x100m sprinter Tianna Madison and her pilot Elana Meyers finished third, just 0.01 seconds behind Fenlator and Jones.
“I’m kind of in shock,” Jones told the AP. “We’ve been training with all the other Team USA members. It’s been an inner battle within our own team. I think this is great that we had a great run today on race day. I’m so used to just so relying on myself. I’ve never experienced this level of having a team before.”
Fenlator said she was similarly “shocked,” but seemed impressed by the American rookies.
“Lolo and Tianna have great experience in high-pressure situations,” added Fenlator. “They stayed really calm, so even though they’re rookies in the sport, you know on game day they’re going to be ready to go.”
U.S. women’s coach Todd Hays said he enjoyed the moment and was proud of the performances, but will continue to tweak the teams in order to help them reach their full potential.
He’ll rotate rookies Jones, Madison, and college track standout Aja Evans among the sleds throughout the World Cup season and will name his team heading to the Sochi Games around this time next year.