U.S. fails to medal in St. Moritz event
ST. MORITZ, Switzerland -- Canada's Kaillie Humphries won a women's World Cup bobsled race on Saturday with a dazzling second run, rallying from being only 10th-fastest at the midpoint of the competition.
No U.S. sled medaled, the first time this season that's happened. Jamie Gruebel and Emily Azevedo were second after the first heat, but finished fourth, one-tenth of a second away from the podium.
Humphries and Heather Moyse were significantly faster than all other sleds in that second run, posting a final time of 2 minutes, 16.96 seconds to not only win but take over the season-long points lead. Humphries' second-run time was 1:08.15, 0.66 seconds better than her opening trip.
From there, nine more sleds had a chance to catch Humphries, the reigning Olympic gold medalist -- and everyone fell short. Cathleen Martini and Christin Senkel were second for Germany in 2:17.14, 0.01 ahead of bronze medalists Fabienne Meyer and Tanja Mayer of Switzerland.
"Heather pushed amazing today, and that's what kept us afloat," Humphries said. "She had confidence in me. I came back and tried to drive the very best run I could and it was good enough for today."
It was a difficult day for the U.S. women, who had only one sled outside of the top 10 in World Cup competition all season entering Saturday -- and had two sleds finish in the bottom half of the field at St. Moritz.
Elana Meyers struggled in her first run, then rebounded in her second run but still finished in only a tie for 12th with brakeman Aja Evans. Jazmine Fenlator and Katie Eberling were 17th for the Americans.
Humphries now has 1,237 points in the World Cup season standings, 29 more than Meyers and 43 better than Greubel.
It was the next-to-last race before the Americans will choose the six women who will compete in the Sochi Olympics next month, with the drama there expected to be how the U.S. will decide which three push athletes to put on the roster. Summer Olympic veterans Lolo Jones and Lauryn Williams remain in contention for spots and are likely to be back in sleds next weekend at Igls, Austria.