Lolo Jones brought the star power to the women's two-man bobsled team, but other athletes brought the results.
Though a medal wasn't handed out during the first day of the event, the first two runs were extremely successful for two of the three women's American teams.
Aja Evans and Jamie Greubel pushed the No. 2 sled into the third spot after the first two runs, and Lauryn Williams along with top U.S. driver Elana Meyers navigated their way into the top overall place on the first day of the event.
With two Americans currently in position to take home a medal and the Canadian bobsled team sandwiched in between the two, here is a look at the results along with a breakdown of the runs for the top contenders and each American sleigh.
|Women's Bobsled Runs 1 and 2 Results|
Breakdown of 2-Man Day 11 Results
One of the biggest sources of controversy coming into the Sochi Games for Team USA was Jones earning a spot on the women's bobsled team.
After the first day of the event, it appears Jones and teammate Jazmine Fenlator are well behind the other American sleds. The duo finished 11th after their first run and couldn't control the sled in the second run, as Joe Battaglia of NBC Olympics points out:
Jones and Fenlator stayed in the 11th spot following the run, but were disappointing as the only Team USA sled to finish out of the top three.
As for Evans and Greubel, a great first run placed them high on the board and gave them momentum heading into the final run of the day, in which they maintained that early success.
The tandem didn't have as clean of a run on the second race down the track, but R.J. Rico of NBC Olympics notes that it was nearly half a second faster than the fourth-place sled of Belgium:
Just ahead of Evans and Greubel was the two-man Canadian crew of Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse, who trail the top American sled by just 0.23 seconds after the first two runs.
Unfortunately for Humphries and Moyse, the second run from Meyers and Williams moved them further ahead in the lead as they defeated the Canadians in both runs, as Rico notes:
Coming into Sochi, Meyers was easily viewed as the top driver in the event, but the question of who would be her brakeman was up in the air.
That question was answered when Williams was chosen, despite the fact that she has only raced once with Meyers. But the pair came into the first day of the event with confidence, as Williams told Craig Davis of the Sun Sentinel:
I've only been in the sport for six months, so I'm making sure that everything I do is at 200 percent to make up for the time. Elana and I feel confident heading into the race, regardless of everything that's happened these last few days, and we're really excited.
The rivalry between Meyers and Humphries has been going on for longer than Williams has actually been in the sport. But with the addition of Williams as her partner, Meyers might be on top of her game to help her inexperienced partner join her on the podium.
Meyers and Humphries are only separated by fractions of a second, and Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today provides a little background on the rivalry:
It's long been anticipated that Meyers and Humphries would battle it out for gold. Humphries won the World Cup points title, winning three of eight races, and Meyers was second in the standings, winning two races and placing second in five others.
It is also the perfect way Meyers and Humphries should finish the season. Humphries, the 2010 Vancouver Olympics gold medalist in this event, and Meyers, who won bronze as a brakeman four years ago, worked out in Calgary together this summer — bobsled's version of LeBron James and Kevin Durant working out.
Leading up to her first run, Meyers was interviewed by NBC about her thoughts on potentially winning her second medal in Sochi. Her response was spot on after the first round of runs in the event:
I definitely want to go in and try my best to win a gold medal but I can't only focus on winning gold. The goal is to go in and have the best four runs of my life. If I could put four runs together I'm going to be very hard to beat, but more importantly if I put four runs together, I'm going to walk off the ice proud and with my head held high, whatever the outcome is.
The lead for Meyers and Williams certainly could be much more convincing, but with the lead after the first two events, it appears they are squarely in gold-medal contention barring two disastrous runs in the final two heats.
With the second day in the competition coming up on Wednesday beginning at 11:15 a.m. ET on NBCOlympics.com, Team USA could come away with yet another bobsled medal and potentially have two teams on the podium.
Meyers came to win, and Williams might be the extra edge she needed to get the job done.
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