Winter Sports

Meyers Taylor and Gibbs team for bronze medal, start record in Koenigsee women’s bobsled World Cup

Meyers Taylor and Gibbs team for bronze medal, start record in Koenigsee women’s bobsled World Cup

Lauren Gibbs (l) and Elana Meyers Taylor.

KOENIGSSEE, Germany (Jan. 20, 2018)- Elana Meyers Taylor (Douglasville, Ga.) and Lauren Gibbs (Los Angeles, Calif.) paired for a bronze medal and the start record in the final women’s bobsled World Cup race of the season.

The medal is Meyers Taylor’s seventh medal in eight World Cup races in the 2017-2018 season, two of which have come with Gibbs in the back of her sled. Meyers Taylor also finished the season ranked second overall in the IBSF World Cup standings, accumulating 1,591 points to finish behind only Kallie Humphries of Canada.

More importantly though, Meyers Taylor said, the medal gives her and Gibbs momentum heading into the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. Gibbs is set to push for the two-time Olympic medalist Meyers Taylor next month in Korea.

“I’m really happy with the outcome of today’s race,” Meyers Taylor said. “I’m kind of upset about my second run, I made some mistakes down the track, but that’s racing. Now we’re completely focused on the Games. I’m going to put together four best runs of my life in Korea, and that’s the most important thing right now.”

Meyers Taylor and Gibbs powered their BMW sled to a 5.16-second start, second-fastest of the first heat, and crossed the finish line in 50.83 seconds to sit in second place heading into the second run. The duo fell back a spot to the bronze medal position with a 50.84-second downtime in the second heat but greatly improved on their start time by 0.05 seconds, posting a 5.11-second push, a new start record for the track.

“I think it was big for us to break the start record,” Meyers Taylor said. “Going forward, it showed what we are capable of, and I think that we have even more in the tank. Lauren did a great job and I’m really excited about our potential at the start. We don’t have that many pushes together, so I think it’s definitely a good sign. I’m excited to see what we can do at the Games.”
The record was matched by eventual race winners Stephanie Schneider and Annika Drazek of Germany, who posted an identical 5.11-second start in their second run and won the race with a two-run total time of 1:41.35. Humphries teamed with Phylicia George for the silver medal, finishing just 0.03 seconds ahead of Meyers Taylor and Gibbs with a combined time of 1:41.64.  Humphries claimed the overall World Cup title and snagged the crystal globe with a total of 1,631 World Cup points.

Jamie Greubel Poser (Newtown, Pa.) teamed with her 2014 Olympic bronze medalist partner Aja Evans (Chicago, Ill.) for seventh place to round out Team USA’s results. The duo powered their BMW sled off the blocks for a start time of 5.23 seconds in the first heat en route to a 51.04-second downtime, sixth fastest of the first run.

Sitting just 0.13 seconds out of third place between heats, Greubel Poser and Evans were in the mix for a medal. They clocked a start time of 5.22 seconds in their second heat and Greubel Poser navigated her sled down the track to a 50.95-second downtime to fall back one spot. Greubel Poser and Evans finished just 0.01 seconds behind Nadezhda Sergeeva of Russia and Alysia Rissling of Canada, who tied for fifth place.

Greubel Poser, who won last year’s overall World Cup title and the 2017 test event in PyeongChang last March, heads into her second Olympics ranked fourth overall among women’s bobsled pilots. She and Evans are set to race together in Korea.

Results

1.Stephanie Schneider and Annika Drazek (GER) 1:41.35 (50.78, 50.57);

2. Kallie Humphries and Phylicia George (CAN) 1:41.64 (50.91, 50.73);
3. Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs (USA) 1:41.67 (50.83, 50.84);
7. Jamie Greubel Poser and Aja Evans (USA) 1:41.99 (51.04, 50.95);

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Denise J. Saul is the Founder/President of WSEN-Women's Sports & Entertainment Network.

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