The U.S. women continued the bobsled team’s medal streak by finishing 2-3 in the World Cup season opener in Calgary tonight. Elana Meyers (Douglasville, Ga.) and Aja Evans (Chicago. Ill.) earned silver, while teammates Jamie Greubel (Newtown, Pa.) and Katie Eberling (Palos Hills, Ill.) were third.
“This is definitely a confidence booster,” Meyers said. “I haven’t slid here since 2010, so to come out with a medal on this track feels great. I feel really good about our performance as a team.”
Meyers and Evans were first off in the competition, and they set the pace with a record-breaking start time of 5.55 seconds. The duo was seated comfortably in the lead with a run of 57.07 seconds before Canadians Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse descended the course. The defending champion responded to the Americans by claiming the start record with a push time of 5.48 seconds, and led the field with a run of 56.88 seconds after the first heat.
“Kaillie and I train together, and it’s fun having someone to go back and forth with,” Meyers said. “We went into this year wanting to push each other, and I think we did that today. It was definitely a battle.”
U.S. teammates Greubel and Eberling were in the mix with the third fastest time of the first run, 57.28 seconds. Greubel earned her first World Cup medal last season in La Plagne, France with Emily Azevedo, and she’s still a rookie on the elite tour. She kept her composure between heats and was eager to maintain medal position.
“It was a little weird in the start house between runs, because I could hear that times were getting slower in the second heat,” Greubel said. “I was confident in my ability, and Katie and I make a great team. I told myself not to worry about what anyone else was doing and just focus on putting together another solid run.”
Greubel and Eberling were first of the top three competitors to take a second run. Several teams put pressure on the Americans with speedy runs, including veteran German pilot Cathleen Martini. Greubel and Eberling matched their first run start of 5.62 and secured a medal position by posting a combined time of 1:53.62 in the Putinka sled to finish 0.17 seconds ahead of Martini. Greubel, still taking it all in, said she is excited and looking forward to racing on a U.S. track next week.
“I’m going to take it one week at a time, one track at a time,” Greubel said. “I feel like I’m driving well, but I need to stay focused to maintain it.”
Meyers and Evans were next off, and the pair powered the BMW sled off the block to again set the start record with a push of 5.47 seconds. Meyers navigated the sled to the finish with a two-run total of 1:53.33 to score at least second place.
Humphries and Moyse burst down the ramp to reclaim the start record on their home track with a push time of 5.45 seconds. Humphries expertly piloted her sled to the finish with a combined time of 1:52.77 for a victory of 0.56 seconds over the Americans.
The Germans have commonly dominated the sport in past years, but the German teams finished 5-6-7 behind a North American sweep of the medals.
U.S. athletes Jazmine Fenlator (Wayne, N.J.) and Lolo Jones (Des Moines, Iowa) tied Esme Kamphuis and Sanna Dekker from the Netherlands for 15th place with a two-run total of 1:54.67. The American duo posted starts of 5.67 and 5.61 for runs of 57.91 and 56.76 seconds, respectively. Fenlator lost critical speed on the lower portion of the track while struggling to navigate the 360-degree kreisel corner in the first run, and she was unable to make up the deficit in the final heat.
The women’s bobsled race concludes the Calgary event. Teams will travel to Park City, Utah for the second stop on the World Cup tour. Please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-354-2250 with media inquiries.