Lauryn Williams sports a UHealth Sports Medicine cap at victory celebration
IGLS, Austria (Jan. 19, 2014)- Third time is a charm for Jamie Greubel (Newtown, Pa.), who rallied back to win her first career women’s bobsled World Cup race after watching the medals slip away over the last two weeks. Greubel teamed with track and field Olympian Lauryn Williams (Miami, Fla.) for two powerful pushes that gave Greubel a chance to claim gold in Igls. Elana Meyers (Douglasville, Ga.) and Aja Evans (Chicago, Ill.) clocked record-breaking start times to finish just behind their teammates in second.
“You never know when it’s going to happen, so winning was a nice surprise,” Greubel said. “I haven’t had a lot of trips on this track, so I wasn’t expecting it to happen here.”
Greubel medaled in all four World Cup races in North America, and she was in the running for gold after leading the first heat in Winterberg, Germany earlier this month. A minor mistake dropped her back into fourth. She was again in the running for gold after the second fastest run in St. Moritz, Switzerland last week, but she again fell back into fourth. After watching other teams climb the podium, Greubel was determined to be back in the medals this week.
“Those last two races were very important learning experiences for me,” Greubel said. “Knowing how to prepare for the second run while in the lead takes some time to learn. I’m putting these experiences in the bank and hoping it all comes together when we get to Sochi.”
Greubel and Williams, who has only been in the back of a sled for four months, powered the Putinka branded sled off the start block for identical push times of 5.49 seconds. Greubel navigated the BMW manufactured sled to the finish in 53.01 seconds to lead the field by 0.06 seconds. Greubel extended that lead to 0.13 seconds with a flawless second run, and the duo claimed their first career World Cup victory with a combined time of 1:46.28.
Williams pushed a bobsled for the first time in U.S. National Push Championships last August and has already collected three World Cup medals, although this is her first with Greubel.
“I had no idea what was in store for me this season,” Williams said. “I just wanted to come in with positive energy and help out. This is the first time I’ve been a part of a true team sport, and there’s someone else counting on you. You can’t let that person down, and that’s what drives me. It’s very important to give everything I have whenever I’m on that start line.”
Meyers and Evans were on their teammates’ heels after blasting the BMW sled off the block for record-breaking start times of 5.39 and 5.38 seconds. Meyers threaded together two clean runs of 53.07 and 53.34 seconds, but it was just shy of moving into the lead. Meyers and Evans earned silver with a total time of 1:46.41, Meyers’ sixth medal this season and Evans’ fourth.
“Every run we are trying to get faster,” Meyers said. “We always try to lay it out there to see what we have, and we did that today.”
Germans Anja Scheiderheinze and Stephanie Schneider claimed bronze with a total time of 1:46.42.
Jazmine Fenlator (Wayne, N.J.) teamed with Lolo Jones (Des Moines, Iowa) for seventh place with a total time of 1:47.01. The duo clocked the sixth fastest start of the first run, 5.54 seconds, for the 11th best time of the heat, 53.71 seconds. Eager to climb in standings, the pair posted a second start of 5.56 for a run of 53.30 seconds, which was good enough to move them up four spots into seventh.
Today was the last women’s bobsled race before U.S. Olympic Team nominations are made. The team is expected to be named at 12 a.m. local time (6 p.m. ET). Dial-in information for a press teleconference call will be provided in the announcement release.
Please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-354-2250 with media inquiries.
1. Jamie Greubel and Lauryn Williams (USA) 1:46.28 (53.01, 53.27); 2. Elana Meyers and Aja Evans (USA) 1:46.41 (53.07, 53.39); 3. Anja Schneiderheine and Stephanie Schneider (GER) 1:46.42 (53.11, 53.31);…7. Jazmine Fenlator and Lolo Jones (USA) 1:47.01 (53.71, 53.30);
About the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation
The United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. The USBSF would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Century 21 Real Estate, CEVA Logistics, Under Armour, Kampgrounds of America, Boomerang Carnets, 24 Hour Fitness, KBC Helmets, Eastern European Distribution Company, Azad Watches, Latta USA, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Autism Speaks, Park City Lodging, Inc., EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp.
For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.