Once again Altis athletes Kaillie Humphries and Elana Meyers dominated the Viesmann World Cup Bobsleigh Tour. Finishing one-two at both the start and finish of the latest stop on the circuit in Park City, Utah.
After claiming a silver behind Humphries in Calgary last week, this time it was Meyers’ turn to come away the victor, while Humphries had to settle for silver – her 15th straight podium performance.
After a pretty rough week of training, American Meyers stormed past Humphries in the 2nd heat to claim her first World Cup win as a driver.
“The first 50m of the race is becoming more and more important as the quality of the athletes in bobsled continues to improve” – Stuart McMillan
Americans Jamie Greubel and Katie Eberling secured bronze for the second straight race, while Altis athlete Jazmine Fenlator finished in 4th with brake woman Emily Azevedo.
On the second day of racing, the US Women’s bobsled team made history by sweeping the medals – the first time since 2001. A day after finishing 1st, third, and fourth, pilots Elana Meyers, Jamie Greubel, and Jazmine Fenlator shared the podium – with Fenlator and Greubel finishing in a dead heat for silver, and Meyers winning her second consecutive race.
The US women also ranked 1st, 2nd, and 4th at the start – an extremely important factor in the success of the team. “Without world-class starts, it is almost impossible to contend for a medal in this sport. The first 50m of the race is becoming more and more important as the quality of the athletes in bobsled continues to improve. Having three teams in the top four at the start is awesome, and is a trend we will try to continue through the remainder of the World Cup season, and on to the Sochi Olympic Games in February” said US Bobsled Start Coach, and Altis Performance Director and Sprint Coach, Stuart McMillan.
Altis athlete Lauryn Williams, competing in her very first World Cup bobsled race, came away with a silver medal alongside pilot – and fellow Altis athlete – Jazmine Fenlator. Fellow track-star Lolo Jones stood alongside Fenlator and Williams with her pilot, Jamie Greubel, enjoying her second straight podium finish.
“I’m feeling awesome,” said Williams. “It has been really fun to learn this whole process.” Williams, a 4×100 m Olympic gold medalist, took her first trip in a bobsled in October after finishing third in the U.S. National Bobsled Push Championships. She made a quick impression and was named to the national team in her first season.
“Lauryn has been thrown to the wolves in a sense to have to compete against our team of push athletes as a rookie, and I couldn’t be more proud of the way that she performed today,” Fenlator said.
Canadian Humphries, however, fell victim to the heavy snow, which ruined her chance to continue her dominant podium streak, eventually finishing in 7th place. “Nobody has ever dominated the sport this way and likely won’t for years to come because I believe Kaillie will continue to dominate,” said Canadian head coach Tom De La Hunty following Saturday’s silver medal performance “Nobody has done anything like it – to podium like this every week. It is a very special accomplishment by a very special and gifted athlete.”
The US women were not the only dominant group in Park City – the men’s team almost matched their feat by finishing 1st, 2nd and 4th in 2man, with 2010 Olympic Gold Medalist Steven Holcomb also coming away with the 4man victory – his 4th consecutive win to begin the season.
The bobsled and skeleton circuit continues this coming weekend in Lake Placid, New York, where Altis athletes attempt to finish off the first half of the World Cup Season in style.