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Local youth aim for success in bobsledding

ELIZABETHTOWN Even though Bruce Taylor isnt old enough to drive, his love for speed makes his mother a little nervous. Thats okay, though its also his reason for loving a unique sport. Taylor, a ninth grade student at Westport Central School, is an avid bobsledder. Together with Caleb Hall, a tenth grader at Keene Central School, he spends three months a year on a two-man bobsledding team. Its a quick trip down theyve been averaging 51 seconds on the Bobsled/Skeleton/Luge Track at Mt. Van Hoevenberg. The track, which is nearly one mile long and covered with ice, has 20 turns and propels sleds at speeds well over 60 miles per hour. Taylor pointed out that there are only two bobsledding tracks in the nation, and it was an exciting opportunity to participate in the sport. Its something I can do that a lot of people cant so I dont take it for granted, said Taylor. Taylor currently serves as the brakeman for their team, while Hall is the driver. Its all about teamwork, said Hall. People think its a little more dangerous than it really is, said Hall. The duo started bobsledding eight years ago in a PeeWee program while in elementary school, and have continue with the program. In 2001, the team won a bronze medal at the Empire State Games. The two currently participate in the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation and the Olympic Regional Development Authoritys Youth Program, open to athletes from 12 to 18 years of age. They spend their Friday nights from January-March at the track. Hall said it was a good chance to spend times with friends. The two, who have been friends since Kindergarten, attend different schools. Taylor and Hall said someday they hoped to participate in the Olympics in the sport. The team has qualified to participate in The 27th Empire State Winter Games, which will take place Feb. 23-25 in Lake Placid.

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