Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director
(518) 354-2250, email@example.com
Meyers and Evans race to silver on 2014 Olympic track
RZHANAYA POLYANA, Russia (Feb. 15, 2013)- Elana Meyers (Douglasville, Ga.) and Aja Evans (Chicago, Ill.) set the start record en route to a silver medal performance in the women’s bobsled World Cup race on the 2014 Olympic track today.
“It feels great to medal on the Olympic track,” Meyers said. “I can still improve my driving and pick up some hundredths next year on the push, so Team USA will be ready to sweep the podium.”
Meyers and Evans established the pace off the block by clocking a start time of 5.19 seconds in the KOA sled to break the start record. Meyers piloted USA-1 to less than one-tenth of a second from the medals after a first run of 58.33 seconds. German pilots Sandra Kiriasis and Cathleen Martini held the top two positions, while reigning Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries was in third. Just 0.19 seconds separated the top five sleds.
Several sleds in the mix for the medals dropped positions in a nail biting second heat. Meyers and Evans kept their composure and burst off the block to break their own start record by 0.03 seconds. Today’s start record was the seventh set by Meyers this season. Meyers’ set records with three different brakeman, and three of the records were with Evans in her sled.
“The push is huge on this track,” Meyers said. “Aja did a great job today and she pushed us to medal contention. All of our push athletes are stellar and I’m excited to see how much we can grow.”
Third-year pilot Meyers has rocketed to veteran status this season as she battles for podium positions week after week. She maintained their fourth place position, and the duo stood at the finish and waited to see how their time would hold up to the remaining three sleds. In a surprising turn of events, Humphries dropped behind the Americans. Martini, a six-time World Championship medalist, was also unable to hold onto her position and dropped behind both Meyers and Humphries.
Kiriasis and brakeman Franziska Bertels threw down the run of a lifetime to skirt ahead of the competition by 0.13 seconds to claim gold with a two-run total of 1:57.19. USA-1 celebrated at the finish as their combined time of 1:57.32 earned them the silver medal. Humphries and her brakeman Chelsea Valois finished with a total time of 1:57.33 to trail team Meyers by just 0.01 seconds for bronze.
“I thought my second drive definitely improved on the first one,” Meyers said. “That’s what we want to do, improve on every drive. Increasing my push time on the second run helped, and I’m happy with the result.”
Today was bittersweet for Evans, whose grandfather passed away earlier this week. Evans’ mother insisted that she stay in Russia to finish her season and knew it was a decision her grandfather would have supported.
“My grandfather was very encouraging of my track and field career, so I know he’s in heaven smiling and watching over me,” Evans said. “To pull through this week and finish out as strong as I did, I know there’s much more in store for the Olympics. My dream of being an Olympian feels very real now, and this experience has made me even hungrier for the 2014 Olympics. I hope to make my grandpa and my family proud.”
Evans wrapped up her rookie season today, and already has a long list of accomplishments on her sliding resume that includes the 2012 U.S. National Push Championship title and two World Cup medals.
Jamie Greubel (Newtown, Pa.) and Katie Eberling (Palos Hills, Ill.) teamed together in the BMW prototype today for ninth place with a combined time of 1:58.04. The duo posted start times of 5.35 and 5.31 seconds for runs of 58.38 and 59.38 seconds, respectively.
Jazmine Fenlator (Wayne, N.J.) and Lolo Jones (Des Moines, Iowa) finished 13th with a combined time of 1:58.42. Olympic hurdler Jones helped pushed the USA Bobsled & Skeleton Foundation sled to starts of 5.37 and 5.34 seconds, and Fenlator piloted the crew to the finish in 58.67 and 59.75 seconds. Fenlator has been nursing several minor injuries throughout the season and will be eager to begin rehabilitation this offseason before getting stronger and faster for the Olympic year.
The women’s skeleton competition will begin at 8 am local time tomorrow, which is 11 pm ET tonight. Please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-354-2250 with media inquiries.
1. Sandra Kiriasis and Franziska Bertels (GER) 1:57.19 (58.16, 59.03); 2. Elana Meyers and Aja Evans (USA) 1:57.32 (58.33, 58.99); 3. Kaillie Humphries and Chelsea Valois (CAN) 1:57.33 (58.24, 59.09);…9. Jamie Greubel and Katie Eberling (USA) 1:58.04 (58.66, 59.38);…13. Jazmine Fenlator and Lolo Jones (USA) 1:58.42 (58.67, 59.75);
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, WIDIA, Vivat!, Global Forwarding, KBC Helmets, Azad Watches, Latta USA, Ludus Tours, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Autism Speaks, Park City Lodging, EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.