Ex-Illini earns U.S. bobsled shot

Ex-Illini earns U.S. bobsled shot

Lolo Jones’ international bobsled debut will come at the sport’s highest level the World Cup circuit.

The Olympic hurdler was one of three women’s push athletes selected to compete for the U.S. in this weekend’s World Cup opener at Lake Placid, N.Y. Jones, who tried the sport for the first time just last month, will be in the back of USA-3 with Jazmine Fenlator as her pilot.

Last month, Jones was one of six push athletes chosen for the women’s national team. That did not guarantee her a spot in a World Cup event, though after the final race-off data was calculated on Sunday night, Jones had her spot.

All three women’s push athletes who were picked by the USBSF for the first World Cup are rookies. Tianna Madison — an Olympic gold medalist sprinter, part of the team that easily broke the world record in the 400-meter relay to win the title at the London Games — will be pushing USA-1, piloted by Elana Meyers.

And another athlete with a track background, Aja Evans, a former Illini, will push USA-2, piloted by Jamie Greubel. Evans turned heads immediately in Lake Placid by winning the team’s push championship.

“Aja’s upside is unbelievable,” U.S. coach Todd Hays said.