- Associated Press - Friday, October 17, 2014

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) - Aaron Victorian is from Hawaii, goes by the name Surf and has never tried pushing a bobsled on ice.

And he’s already the U.S. national bobsled push champion.

The rookie hopeful beat a field of 22 other entrants to win the brakeman division of the championships Friday, finishing his three pushes in 13.08 seconds.

Alex Harrison was second in 13.15 seconds and Casey Wickline took third in 13.23 seconds.

“I’m great on land, but I don’t want to be a summer bobsledder, I want to be a winter bobsledder,” Victorian said. “I know it’s going to be different on ice. I just hope to get in a sled and do my best and show that I can do this for years to come.”

Pushers got chances from the right, the left and the back of the wheeled sled. On-ice training is scheduled to begin in Lake Placid next week.

Adrian Adams was fourth in 13.47 seconds. Justin Olsen, part of the Olympic gold-medal-winning four-man sled from the U.S. in 2010, was fifth in 13.48.

Olsen said he performed as suspected, after spending his offseason losing 30 pounds.

“I tilt my hat to today’s winner,” Olsen said. “He seized the day and I look forward to working with these strong rookies.”

Weather permitting, sliding for bobsled, luge and skeleton is scheduled to begin at the Mount Van Hoevenberg track in Lake Placid on Monday. The push championships are used to evaluate talent and help pilots choose who they want working with them during the national team trials, which begin later this month.

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