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Meyers and Eberling earn World Championship bronze
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (Feb. 18, 2012)–Elana Meyers (Douglasville, Ga.) and Katie Eberling (Palos Hills, Ill.) claimed the 2012 World Championship bronze medal to continue the legacy of the women’s bobsled program.
“I am very happy with how today turned out,” Meyers said. “To go up against World and Olympic Champions and come out with a medal; I couldn’t be happier.”
Meyers and Eberling had ballistic starts in the KOA sled, dominating their competitors with the four fastest push times. The pair pushed off the block in 5.51 and 5.55 seconds today for runs of 57.41 and 57.49 seconds.
Meyers and Eberling were 0.11 seconds from silver after yesterday’s two heats, but they were unable to make up time in the finals. A four-heat total time of 3:49.57 secured bronze for USA-1 in a competitive field of 17 sleds.
“I was really focused on keeping us calm,” Meyers said. “We perform best when we are having fun, and today was an absolute blast. We were just focused on putting good runs together and good pushes together and we did that.”
USA-1’s medal performance was a breakthrough for the second-year pilot and rookie brakeman. Meyers is best known for her skills as a powerhouse brakeman, having won a silver medal as a pusher for Shauna Rohbock at the 2009 World Championships and the 2010 Olympic bronze medal with Erin Pac. Eberling made an immediate impact in the sport after winning the 2011 National Push Championship title after only a few runs in the back of the sled. The duo didn’t have any expectations; they were just eager to compete on home ice.
“I just wanted to act like I’ve been here before,” Eberling said. “I didn’t want to make any rookie mistakes. I just wanted to have fun and enjoy being here.”
“Katie definitely didn’t act like a rookie, she fit in really well with the veterans,” Meyers said. “I guess it was her great career at Western Michigan that prepared her for this time. Who would have thought volleyball to bobsled?”
Reigning Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries teamed with Jennifer Ciochetti for the 2012 World Championship title. The Canadian duo threaded together four seamless runs for a combined time of 3:48.57 for the crown. Sandra Kiriasis and Petra Lammert laid down the fastest times of the day, but they still trailed Canada by 0.33 seconds for the silver medal after posting a total time of 3:48.90.
Jazmine Fenlator (Wayne, N.J.) and Ingrid Marcum (Elmhurst, Ill.) teamed together in the FDNY sled for 10th place. The emerging duo clocked a cumulative time of 3:51.28, and both athletes were grateful to be competing in front family and friends on their home track.
“I was really ready for us to keep moving up the charts,” Fenlator said. “Unfortunately, I made a mistake that cost us some time, but I am still a rookie and I make mistakes. So I am hoping to learn from this experience and be ready to go next season.”
Bree Schaaf (Bremerton, Wash.) and Emily Azevedo (Chico, Calif.) were relieved to conclude a tough season tonight with a 12th place finish. The 2010 Olympic teammates posted a four-heat combined time of 3:51.84 in the Sliding for Hope sled, and now their focus has already shifted to next season. Schaaf will have labral hip surgery this summer, and additional tests for what is suspected to be an ulcer.
“I’m going to get sliced up and see if I can’t get myself in a place where I can come back stronger and faster,” Schaaf said. “It takes this kind of year to really refocus yourself on what you really want. This is just such a huge part of my life and I can’t imagine giving it up, especially because the better you become as a driver the more fun it becomes. It’s all about getting strong and healthy for next season, proving to myself that I belong up there on the podium.”
Today’s final concludes the women’s bobsled competitive season. The two-man bobsled finals take place at 9 am tomorrow morning, followed by the team competition at 1:30 pm.
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1. Kaillie Humphries and Jennifer Ciochetti (CAN) 3:48.57 (57.10 57.07, 57.22, 57.18); 2. Sandra Kiriasis and Petra Lammert (GER) 3:48.90 (57.30, 57.28, 57.21, 57.11); 3. Elana Meyers and Katie Eberling (USA) 3:49.57 (57.22, 57.45, 57.41, 57.49);…10. Jazmine Fenlator and Ingrid Marcum (USA) 3:51.28 (57.81, 57.52, 57.90, 58.05);…12. Bree Schaaf and Emily Azevedo (USA) 3:51.84 (57.95, 57.69, 58.08, 58.12);
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, Under Armour, United States National Guard, Kampgrounds of America, National Strength and Conditioning Association, Vivat!, Global Forwarding, KBC Helmets, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.