Elana Meyers Taylor and Kaillie Humphries finished first and second in the first women’s monobob World Cup race of the Olympic season on Nov. 20 in Igles, Austria.
Meyers Taylor posted the second-fastest start time of 5.83 seconds. Meyers Taylor, a three-time Olympic medalist, pushed off the block in 5.88 seconds in the final heat for an identical finish time of 55.25 seconds. She finished 0.13 seconds ahead of the field to secure her win with a total time of 1:50.63.
Humphries was in third place after a first run time of 55.27 seconds, but after posting a time of 55.36 seconds in the final heat, she was able to claim the silver medal in 1:50.63.
Humphries clocked nearly identical start times of 5.95 and 5.94 seconds.
Men’s four-man bobsled
Hunter Church teamed with Josh Williamson, Hakeem Abdul Saboor and Charlie Volker for eighth place in the four-man bobsled on Nov. 21. The American crew was in the hunt for the medals after the first run, but a slip at the start and a stuck push bar complicated their final run.
The American crew posted the fifth best start time of 5.04 seconds for the fifth best downtime of 50.78 seconds. The medals were within 0.12 seconds of their reach.
The crew powered off the block in the second heat, but one of the push athletes slipped on the bunk while loading into the sled. He recovered, and the team clocked a start time of 5.10 seconds. Church led the crew to the finish in 51.26 seconds, which was 16th best of the heat. Church, Volker, Williamson and Abdul Saboor fell back three spots into eighth with a two-run total of 1:42.04.
The other American crew of Codie Bascue, Blaine McConnell, Carlo Valdes and Jimmy Reed had a combined time of 1:42.39 to earn 14th place. The squad posted start times of 5.09 and 5.10 seconds for runs of 51.12 and 51.27 seconds, respectively.
Humphries and Sylvia Hoffman tied reigning Olympic champion Mariama Jamanka of Germany and her brakewoman Kira Lipperheide for fourth place in the women’s bobsled World Cup race on Nov. 21.
Humphries and Hoffman finished a mere one-hundredth of a second from the bronze medal position. Meyers Taylor and Aja Evans finished seventh.
Humphries and Hoffman tied teammates Meyers Taylor and Evans for the fastest start time of 5.50 seconds in the first heat. Humphries and Hoffman threaded together the second-fastest run of 53.17 seconds. Meyers Taylor and Evans crossed the finish line in 53.38 seconds for sixth position.
Humphries and Hoffman had only the sixth-fastest start time of 5.55 seconds in the final heat, and the pair clocked the seventh best downtime of 53.35 seconds. The Americans’ total time of 1:46.52 tied Germany’s Jamanka and Lipperheide for fourth.
Meyers Taylor and Evans once again posted the fastest push time of 5.53 seconds in the second heat, and Meyers Taylor clocked the fifth best downtime of 53.33 seconds. Despite the faster time, the team fell back one spot into seventh with a combined time of 1:46.71.
Bascue and Valdes finished in fifth place in the two-man bobsled World Cup opener on Nov. 20. Bascue and Valdes had the second-fastest time in the first heat, and the second heat was Bascue’s personal best two-man result in Igls. Church and Kris Horn finished in 20th place.
Bascue and Valdes started their campaign for the medals with the seventh best start time of 5.14 seconds. Bascue continued to find time down the track, and the team crossed the finish line with the second-fastest downtime of 51.61 seconds. Reigning world champion Francesco Friedrich and Alexander Shueller of Germany were the only team that was faster.
Bascue and Valdes pushed off the block in 5.15 seconds, but the sled veered to the right out of the initial corner. Small mistakes were enough in a tightly packed field to bump the Americans out of the medals with a run of 52.00. Bascue and Valdes finished fifth with a combined time of 1:43.61.
The Germans won by nearly half a second with a two-run total of 1:42.85.
Church and Horn mustered start times of 5.24 and 5.26 seconds, which were 25th and 20th fastest of the day. Hunter made up time during the run in both heats, but he eventually ran out of track to continue gaining on the competition. The crew clocked downtimes of 52.04 and 52.14 seconds for a total time of 1:44.18 to finish 20th.