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Kaillie Humphries, Elana Meyers Taylor go 1-2 in monobob, enter Olympics as favorites

Weeks before monobob's Olympic debut, reigning world champion Kaillie Humphries beat U.S. teammate Elana Meyers Taylor in the final run of the event's World Series circuit closer in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland — 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. And 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.”

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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 bobsledders 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.

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