SOCHI, Russia (Feb. 14, 2015) – Olympic silver medalist Elana Meyers Taylor clinched the Women’s bobsled overall World Cup title after claiming her sixth win of the season with brake woman Cherrelle Garrett in Sochi, Russia with a time of 1:55.48. Olympic bronze medalist Jamie Greubel Poser and Lauren Gibbs claimed the race’s bronze medal and Greubel Poser finished sixth in overall standings, while Jazmine Fenlator wrapped up the World Cup season ranked third after a fifth place finish with Natalie DeRatt today.
“Winning six gold medals this season is incredible, and it’s a huge testament to how hard Cherrelle, the coaches and all of my teammates worked this season,” Meyers Taylor said. “It took a team behind the team to get me here. At the beginning of the season the coaches asked me what my goal was, and I told them I wanted to win the overall World Cup. They did everything in their power to help me do that, and it feels incredible right now. I’m so happy.”
Meyers Taylor and Garrett were dominant from start to finish today. The duo blasted the Under Armour wrapped BMW-made sled off the start in 5.18 seconds in both heats, giving them an advantage of 0.11 seconds right off the block. Meyers Taylor navigated the team to the finish in 57.80 seconds for a quarter of a second lead heading into the final World Cup run of the season. The Olympic silver medalist not only maintained position, but she extended the team’s lead in the final heat with a run of 57.68 seconds for a total time of 1:55.48.
“I didn’t know what to expect this year, but I’m so happy and grateful,” Garrett said. “I’m having so much fun and I’m already looking forward to next year.”
Meyers Taylor was a mere point away from the overall title last season, and she missed the 2014 Olympic gold medal by just one-tenth of a second, both behind Canadian Kaillie Humphries. This season Meyers Taylor flipped the order, securing the overall title over Humphries with a convincing 196-point lead and claiming the World Cup victory on the 2014 Olympic track by a huge margin of 0.61 seconds.
“I don’t think it’s sunk in yet,” Meyers Taylor said. “It felt so good to come back here and to face everything that happened last year. I was elated to win an Olympic medal, but disappointed to lose the gold, so putting it together today felt really good. I honestly can’t express what I’m feeling right now because I have to think about the four-man race tomorrow and prepare for that. I’m sure it will all sink in over the weekend.”
Meyers Taylor will conclude her World Cup season as the pilot of USA-3 in tomorrow’s four-person bobsled race, only her second World Cup race in the discipline.
Reigning Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries teamed with Melissa Lotholz to claim the silver medal after sliding downtimes of 58.07 and 58.02 seconds for a combined total of 1:56.09.
Greubel Poser and Gibbs were at a disadvantage as the last sled to take a run in the first heat, but it didn’t keep the pair from reaching the medal stand. The pair clocked a first run start of 5.31 seconds for a downtime of 58.20 to place them in fifth going into the final heat.
“We definitely didn’t have a great draw, and I was disappointed with my first run,” Greubel Poser said. “I told Lauren we had to come back with a fight and we got after it in the second run. All you can do is put it behind you and battle back, and I wasn’t going down without a fight today.”
Determined to crack into the medals, Greubel Poser and Gibbs bettered their start time by two-hundredths of a second and Greubel Poser piloted the KOA wrapped BMW-made sled to the finish in 57.90 seconds. The duo waited at the finish as their combined time of 1:56.10 held up to two sleds to move them into bronze medal position, completing a North American sweep of the medals.
“It definitely feels great to come away with a medal here,” Greubel Poser said. “We were so close to silver, just one-hundredth of a second, but I can’t dwell on it. Now it’s time to focus on putting together four runs for World Championships in Winterberg, Germany, which is a track I really like. I’m looking forward to it.”
Greubel Poser finished the season ranked sixth with 1386 points. The 2014 Olympic bronze medalist claimed five World Cup medals this season, but she missed points from one race after crashing in Koenigssee, Germany.
Fenlator and DeRatt were in second position after a first run push time of 5.35 seconds and a downtime of 58.05 seconds. Fenlator and DeRatt pushed the envelope in the second heat, posting a start of 5.34 seconds and a run of 58.34, but it wasn’t enough to maintain medal position. The duo dropped back three spots into fifth with a total time of 1:56.39 in the Aspen Institute’s Project Play sled. Fenlator finished third in overall standings with 1474 points after claiming one World Cup medal and four fourth-place results.
The women’s skeleton event is up next before the World Cup season concludes with the four-person bobsled and men’s skeleton competitions tomorrow.