Jazmine Fenlator, Lolo Jones

U.S. women’s bobsled pairings announced for Park City World Cup


The U.S. Bobsled team made one change to its three women’s bobsled pairings for the second World Cup of the season in Park City, Utah, this weekend.

The top two sleds from last week’s opener in Calgary, Alberta, remain the same — Elana Meyers and Aja Evans and Jamie Greubel and Katie Eberling. The third sled will again by driven by Jazmine Fenlator, but her push athlete will be 2010 Olympian Emily Azevedo making her World Cup season debut.

Azevedo replaces two-time Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones. These are the pairings for Friday’s race. The pairings for Saturday have yet to be announced. Universal Sports will have coverage of the races.

Fenlator and Jones finished 15th at the opening World Cup in Calgary, Alberta, last week. It marked Fenlator’s lowest World Cup finish in three seasons as a driver.

USBSF also subbed out Jones for Azevedo for the second World Cup stop last season. Evans, Eberling and Azevedo went on to be the three push athletes in the two-woman competition at the World Championships, while Jones came in for the non-Olympic team event.

In all, Jones competed in five of the eight World Cup events the U.S. took part in last season, her rookie season.

Meyers and Evans and Greubel and Eberling will look to build on a two-three finish in Calgary, the second time since 2009 the U.S. put two women’s sleds on the same World Cup podium.

World Cup results through mid-January will determine how many sleds the U.S. will qualify for Sochi. It will likely qualify the maximum three, as it did for the 2010 Olympics.

The Olympic push athletes will be discretionary selections, though World Cup results play a role in determining who is picked.

Video: Holcomb sweeps Calgary World Cup races

Matthew Centrowitz, Michelle Carter win USATF Athlete of the Year honors

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 20:  Matthew Centrowitz of the United States reacts after winning gold in front of Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria and Nicholas Willis of New Zealand in the Men's 1500 meter Final on Day 15 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
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Olympic champions Matthew Centrowitz and Michelle Carter were voted USA Track and Field’s Athletes of the Year, the first of their kinds to win the awards.

Centrowitz, who became the first American to win an Olympic 1500m since 1908, took the Jesse Owens Award. He’s the first male track distance runner to win a USATF Athlete of the Year, which was established in 1981.

Centrowitz beat out fellow Rio gold medalists Kerron Clement (400m hurdles), Ryan Crouser (shot put), Ashton Eaton (decathlon) and Jeff Henderson (long jump).

Carter, the first U.S. woman to win the Olympic shot put, earned the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Award. She’s the first female shot put thrower to win Athlete of the Year and third thrower of any kind (John Godina, Stephanie Brown Trafton).

Carter topped other gold medalists Tianna Bartoletta (long jump), Dalilah Muhammad (400m hurdles) and Brianna Rollins (100m hurdles) in voting.

Eaton and Allyson Felix earned the awards in 2015.

A full list of USATF Athlete of the Year winners is here.

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Olympic downhill champion wants Formula One-like qualifying in ski racing

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VIENNA (AP) — World Cup skiing needs a qualification system like Formula One, with qualifying runs determining the starting order for the race, Olympic downhill champion Matthias Mayer said Friday.

“You could compete in training for who is the first to pick a start number,” the Austrian skier said.

Mayer’s proposal goes a step further than rules for downhill and super-G implemented this season. In the new system, the top 10 skiers can choose an odd start number between 1 and 19, and the skiers ranked between 11th and 20th pick an even number between 2 and 20.

The International Ski Federation has changed the old format, where the top seven were randomly given a number between 16 and 22, because it hopes TV viewers will watch longer when the best skiers are more spread out.

“It will change something, definitely,” said Mayer, who was speaking at a sponsor event. “The best racer can pick the start number he wants. I think it’s a positive development. But we should discuss a qualifying format in training.”

FIS men’s race director Markus Waldner said skiing’s governing body considered several options before deciding on the new regulation.

“The idea is to spread out the top 10 from the start list,” Waldner said. “Most of our TV viewers were starting to watch a race after the TV break, after the first 15 starters, because the top seven racers all started between 16 and 22. We would like to motivate our TV viewers to watch from the very beginning of a race.”

A winner of three World Cup races, Mayer missed most of last season after breaking two vertebrae in a downhill crash in Val Gardena, Italy. He returned to training on snow in July, and is planning a comeback at the speed races in Lake Louise, Alberta, on Nov. 26-27.

The Austrian skipped the season-opening giant slalom in Soelden last Sunday, though he skied on the course as a forerunner, a skier doing a test run just before the race starts.

MORE: Men’s Alpine skiing season preview