Elana Meyers Taylor had come so close to a world cup victory so many times this season, finishing her first six races with four silvers and two bronzes.
On Saturday in St. Moritz, Switzerland, paired for the first time this season with brakeman Lolo Jones, Meyers Taylor finally got the gold that had eluded her thus far. The two set the fastest start time (5.43) and singe run time (1:07.40) of the race and clocked a combined time of 2:15.27. In the process, Meyers Taylor moved up one spot to second in the world rankings behind Canada’s Kaillie Humphries, the two-time defending Olympic gold medalist.
The win wasn’t without disappointment, however, as U.S. driver Brittany Reinbolt made a few mistakes on her final run and, along with brakewoman Aja Evans, finished 15th. They needed to finish ahead of Canada’s third sled, driven by Christine de Bruin, in order to qualify a third U.S. sled for the Olympic Winter Games, but were a mere 0.16 seconds behind de Bruin.
Saturday’s race was the last in the qualification period for the women. USA Bobsled & Skeleton will announce the women’s team later on in the day, and although Meyers Taylor, a two-time Olympic medalist and reigning world champion, and Jamie Greubel Poser, Olympic and world bronze medalist, are certain to get the nod as drivers, the federation must select two from among five highly talented brakemen.
Greubel Poser, who has medaled three times this season, and Lauren Gibbs raced together on Saturday and struggled in their first run, then moved up six spots after their second to finish 11th. The world cup finale will be held in Königssee, Germany, from Jan. 19-21.