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Humphries’ golden debut wins monobob debut

Provided photo St. Moritz winner Kaillie Humphries of the United States is flanked by silver medalist Laura Nolte, left, and Martinia Fontanive Saturday, Jan. 16.

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland — American Kaillie Humphries, of Carlsbad, California, won the first women’s monobob competition she’s ever entered at the St. Moritz World Cup on Saturday, Jan. 16.

U.S. teammate Elana Meyers Taylor, of Douglasville, Georgia finished fifth.

Humphries and Meyers Taylor, both three-time Olympic medalists, have never driven a monobob sled prior to the week of the St. Moritz competition.

Women’s monobob has been a separate series and joined the World Cup for the first time on Saturday, allowing competitors like Humphries and Meyers Taylor the opportunity to compete. The women’s monobob event will make its debut at the Winter Games in Beijing in 2022. 

“I’m exceptionally proud of the women for coming together as a team and getting this win. Lolo Jones, Nicole Brungardt, Emily Renna, Sylvia Hoffman, Lauren Gibbs — that’s the team behind the team that helped make this win happen,” USA Bobsled Head Coach Mike Kohn. “They put in so much work this week getting sleds ready for today, and for tomorrow’s (Sunday, Jan. 17) women’s bobsled race.”

Humphries pushed the fifth fastest start time of 5.88 seconds for a run of one minute, 11.26 seconds to take the lead in the first heat. She powered off the block in 5.91 seconds in run two, and extended her lead to 0.20 seconds with a final downtime of 1:11.09. Humphries was victorious with a combined time of 2:22.35.

Meyers Taylor was the fastest competitor off the block with a start time of 5.74 seconds, and she slid to the finish in 1:11.64 for the fourth best time of the heat. She was a close 0.14 seconds from Switzerland’s Martinia Fontanive in third.

Meyers Taylor nearly matched her first run start time with a push of 5.75 in run two, and piloted her Omaze-branded sled to the finish in 1:11.14. German Stephanie Schneider threaded together a flawless second run of 1:10.90, the fastest of the heat, to move into fourth, placing Meyers Taylor in fifth with a combined time of 2:22.78.

Laura Nolte from Germany earned the silver medal behind Humphries with a total time of 2:22.55. Fontanive maintained her position to claim bronze in 2:22.64.