ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (AP)American Kaillie Humphries got a win. Elana Meyers Taylor got an overall title. And the U.S. bobsled team got more momentum to take into the Beijing Olympics.
Humphries prevailed in the final women’s monobob race of the season on Saturday, with Meyers Taylor finishing second. In the seasonlong standings, the order was reversed – Meyers Taylor winning the points crown, with Humphries second.
Nobody was even close to the two drivers in the race. Humphries won in 2 minutes, 22.27 seconds. Meyers Taylor was second in 2:22.31. Cynthia Appiah of Canada got third, nearly a full second back in 2:23.22.
Appiah, Germany’s Mariama Jamanka (2:23.24) and Germany’s Laura Nolte (2:23.25) drove the only sleds that finished within a second of Humphries’ time. Christine de Bruin of Canada was sixth, 1.43 seconds off the pace.
”My runs weren’t without flaws, especially the second run, but overall I’m super happy I got to race here today,” Humphries said. ”This is an amazing track, and it feels so nice when you do it right.”
And for U.S. sliding, the way the final season standings in monobob worked out – Meyers Taylor first with 1,110 points, Humphries second with 1,052 – was a bit of a rarity. It was only the fourth time in any sliding sport that American sleds wound up first and second in the seasonlong standings.
The other instances: Katie Uhlaender and Noelle Pikus-Pace in women’s skeleton in 2006-07, Zach Lund and Eric Bernotas in men’s skeleton that same season, and Jean Racine and Jill Bakken in women’s bobsled in 1999-2000.
”I wasn’t focused on the overall title at all. I was just trying to work every week on getting better and better,” Meyers Taylor said. ”I know I have a much bigger battle ahead. Beijing is unlike any track on tour, and it’s going to be a tough challenge.”
Monobob – just a driver in the sled – is part of the Olympic program for the first time this year. Men’s bobsledder have always had two medal events, with two- and four-man racing. Adding monobob gives the women two medal opportunities at the Olympics as well, with it joining the traditional two-person race.
Appiah was third in the overall monobob season standings, with de Bruin fourth, Breanna Walker of Australia fifth and Nolte sixth – those four sleds separated by just 10 points in the final rankings, all finishing with between 1,002 and 1,012 points.
No surprise: Germany’s Francesco Friedrich is a season points champion once again.
Friedrich wrapped up the two-man points title on Saturday by winning the World Cup finale, his seventh victory in the eight two-man races this season.
This is the fourth consecutive season in which Friedrich has been the season champion in both two- and four-man racing.
Justin Kripps and Cam Stones of Canada were second on Saturday, with the German sled of Johannes Lochner and Florian Bauer placing third.
Frank Del Duca and Josh Williamson were 15th for the U.S., while Hunter Church and Carlo Valdes placed 25th.
The World Cup bobsled season concludes with a women’s race and a four-man race in St. Moritz on Sunday. USA Bobsled will announce its Olympic rosters no later than Monday.
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