Former track star named USA Bobsled Rookie of the Year
Former Charlotte 49ers track and field standout Briauna Jones was named USA Bobsled 2016-17 Rookie of the Year after her first season as a push athlete with the USA National team. The award was presented at the annual USA Bobsled and Skeleton awards banquet July 1 at the Lake Placid Olympic Conference Center, capping the weeklong 2017 National Team Camp.
Jones won her first World Cup Gold Medal with Athlete of the Year Elena Meyers Taylor at the BMW International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) World Cup in St. Moritz, Switzerland, in January. Meyers Taylor and Jones' time of 2:16.14 narrowly defeated Canada's Kaillie Humphries and Melissa Lotholz (2:16.15) by a hundredth of a second, Jan. 21.
A native of Summerville, South Carolina, Jones hopes to become the Charlotte 49ers first student-athlete to make a U.S. Olympic team. The 2018 Winter Olympics will take place Feb. 9-25 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Charlotte 49ers head track and field coach Bob Olesen was a member of the 1998 United States Olympic Bobsled team that competed in Nagano, Japan. He was the 1995-96 USOC Athlete of the Year in the sport of bobsled and was a member of the 1996-97 USOC two-man bobsled team of the year.
While with the 49ers, Jones competed in the 60-meter dash, long jump, triple jump and high jump. She was the Atlantic 10 Conference Outdoor Track and Field Champion in the long jump and high jump in 2011. She took either first or second place in the A-10 in the long jump and triple jump in all eight indoor and outdoor championships covering her four seasons. She was named team MVP during the 2011 indoor track and field season and in 2012, she was part of the 49ers 4x100 relay team that advanced to the NCAA Championships.