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Greubel Poser strikes another gold

December 16, 2016
By LOU REUTER - Senior Sports Writer (lreuter@adirondackdailyenterprise.com) , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - American bobsled driver Jamie Greubel Poser knew that with the frigid temperatures setting in on Friday, the ice was going to be really fast for the opening day of World Cup racing in Lake Placid.

Greubel Poser was dead on with her prediction, and as it turned out, her sled was the fastest in the field. In fact, Greubel Poser set a new Mount Van Hoevenberg track record on her way to victory in the BMW ISBF World Cup women's bobsled race.

Joined by push athlete Aja Evans, Greubel Poser posted a track-record time of 55.81 seconds to grab the lead after one run, and then triumphed with a 56.21 result in the second heat for a 1:52.02 combined winning time.

Article Photos

Jamie Greubel Poser and teammate Aja Evans slide through the Shady curve during the second run of Friday’s World Cup women’s bobsled race at Mount Van Hoevenberg.
(News photo — Lou Reuter)

And Greubel Poser's teammate Elana Meyers Taylor wasn't far off the pace. After sitting out last winter's World Cup tour recovering from a concussion, Meyers Taylor teamed up with Lolo Jones to take the silver in 1:52.16. Two-time defending Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries of Canada drove to the bronze, finishing with a 1:53.05 combined time, which was more than a second off of Greubel Poser's winning result.

The win was the second straight at Lake Placid for Greubel Poser, who won last season's World Cup competition that was held during the second week in January.

"I really can't ask for more," Greubel Poser said. "It was an amazing day. Just to cross that finish line and see that time on the first run, I was really blown away by how fast we went. It just feels so great to set a track record and break the 56-second barrier. I've never gone faster than mid to low 56s.

"I had an amazing start with Aja pushing," she continued. "We haven't raced together since the (Sochi) Olympics. That was our first international race since then and it was great to have her back. We had a great start and I just love to go fast, so we just put two and two together and flew down the track."

Greubel Poser and Meyers Taylor were the only drivers in the 14-sled field to break the 56-second mark in the race, both achieving the feat on their first trips down the track to stand first and second heading into the next heat. They then clinched the top two spots on the podium with identical times of 56.21 seconds on their next trip.

Jones, who has appeared for the U.S. in both the summer and winter Olympics - in 2008 and 2012 as a hurdler and in 2014 as a push athlete - was appearing in her first bobsled race since Sochi, and was able to help Meyers Taylor take the silver despite being sick enough to end up in the hospital in the early morning hours prior to Friday's race.

"I was throwing up from 9 p.m. To 2 a.m.," Jones said. "There has been a virus going around the OTC. I don't know if I missed that wave, I have no clue, but I got a nice tour of the Lake Placid hospital this morning. As an athlete, we always try to be a super hero and push through, but I do wonder if it had a slight affect in the performance. I'm a little bit disappointed. I know Elana's not. It's great we got silver but it's not fun competing when you've been up all night."

Friday's silver provided Meyers Taylor with a bit of redemption after she crashed last week in Whistler while she was holding a fourth-tenths-of-a-second lead over the field in the opening World Cup race of the season.

"I was very happy with our runs," Meyers Taylor said. "Of course there are always mistakes, always things that go wrong, but we put together two solid runs, and I was pleased about that. I think on the push it was a rough go with Lolo in the hospital last night, but she came out and put it together anyways. We're used to being the fastest at the start but today we just didn't have it. It's a battle to be in the running when we do have the fastest starts, so this was huge for us.

"I crashed last week in Whistler," she continued. "We were going super fast, the fastest I've ever gone on that track before and I just made a mistake and couldn't react in time.

"Missing last year's World Cup kind of hurt me a little bit with the run volume. You do the best you can, and you go out there and try to kill it, and unfortunately, I was killing it a little more last week than I was ready for. Every single race is an absolute blessing because last year I didn't know if I'd ever be able to slide again. Today was a great day."

Humphries teamed up with push athlete Cynthia Appiah while driving to her second medal in as many races after she won last week's World Cup competition on home ice in Whistler.

Brittany Reinbolt and Lauren Gibbs placed fourth in 1:53.53 to give the U.S. women three of the top four positions, and Canadian driver Alysia Rissling and push athlete Genevieve Thibault rounded out the top five with a 1:53.73 combined time.

Meyers Taylor, as well as Humphries, will be the only women back on the track today when they battle it out with the men in the four-man bobsled competition that wraps up this season's World Cup stop in Lake Placid.

 
 

 

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