Jamie Greubel Poser had to beat teammate and world champion Elana Meyers Taylor Saturday during the women’s bobsled world cup season finale to claim her first season title. She did just that at the Olympic test event on the Alpensia Sliding Center track that will host the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Greubel Poser, the bronze medalist at the Sochi Games, entered the race needing to finish four places ahead of two-time Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries of Canada in order to steal the title. She was positioned perfectly after the first run, sitting second behind Meyers Taylor with Humphries stuck in sixth. But when the Canadian cleaned up her second run and was able to move up a spot, it created a situation where Greubel Poser would have to break Meyers Taylor’s five-race winning streak to take the crystal globe.
Greubel Poser and Aja Evans had the fastest time on their second trip down the technically challenging track, a 51.86 that gave them a total time of 1:43.65, good for first with Meyers Taylor and Lolo Jones the last sled down the course.
Despite a start time 0.05 faster than Greubel Poser, Meyers Taylor’s second run was 0.23 slower than her teammate, resulting in a 1:43.80 total, giving Greubel Poser the additional points needed to surpass Humphries for the title. Canada’s Alysia Rissling and Cynthia Appiah took Saturday’s bronze in 1:44.06.
"I'm really speechless right now," Greubel Poser said to USA Bobsled & Skeleton. "I can't believe it all came together for the win and the World Cup title. I honestly wasn't focused on that, I was just focused on working on what I needed to on the track."
The double podium is the sixth for Team USA this season, which matches the record earned by Germany on two occasions, in 2007-08 and again in 2009-10 during a stretch of German dominance that saw 27 double podiums in a five-year span. Greubel Poser and Meyers Taylor each had seven podium finishes this season, the most by an American driver in a single season.
Greubel Poser finishes with 1,644 points, 14 ahead of Humphries, while Meyers Taylor took third in the overall standings with 1,530. Greubel Poser’s victory means all three Sochi 2014 medalists now have earned a world cup title in the subsequent years: Meyers Taylor (silver in Sochi) in 2014-15, Humphries in 2015-16 and Greubel Poser this season.
After winning the world championships last month in Koenigssee, Germany, and earning four straight world cup golds, it would be hard to call the season a disappointment for Meyers Taylor, but there is a tinge of “what could have been” that comes from a crash in the season opener in Whistler, British Columbia. The DNF recorded that evening was the only thing standing between her challenging Greubel Poser for a second world cup title in three years.