Kaillie Humphries kicks off U.S. bobsled career, easily clinches World Cup spot
Two-time Olympic bobsled gold medalist Kaillie Humphries, who switched her allegiance from Canada to the United States in September, finished second and first in two North American Cup races this week to clinch her spot on the U.S. team’s roster for the upcoming World Cup season.
The North American Cup races at Lake Placid, N.Y., doubled as U.S. team trials after track issues forced the cancellation of trials last week at Utah Olympic Park. Brittany Reinbolt and Lauren Gibbs had already clinched their spots on the six-woman team by winning the U.S. championship in March.
On Tuesday, Humphries and Gibbs finished second in Humphries’ first competition since the 2018 Olympics, where she won bronze. She had a bumpy entrance to the sled in her first run and trailed former Canadian teammate Christine de Bruin by 0.32 seconds, then was unable to make up the margin despite having the fastest time in the second run.
On Wednesday, Humphries and Sylvia Hoffman had the fastest start and fastest time in each run, easily outrunning de Bruin by a combined 0.54 seconds.
Reinbolt and Gibbs were fourth on Tuesday and third on Wednesday, just ahead of fellow Americans Kristi Joplin and Jasmine Jones in each race.
In the men’s competition, which had only three pilots in action, U.S. champion Codie Bascue and Josh Williamson won the first two-man bobsled race on Monday, finishing ahead of Canadian gold medalist Justin Kripps. Bascue injured his hamstring in the second two-man race and didn’t compete in the four-man races.
Hunter Church and Blaine McConnell took third in one of the two-man races. Church then took second and third in the four-man races.
Skeleton athletes already had their trials but also competed in the North American Cup, where four-time Olympian and 2012 world champion Katie Uhlaender rebounded from narrowly missing the World Cup squad to win her first two international races since the 2018 Olympics.
The U.S. teams for the World Cups:
Pilots: Reinbolt (USA 1), Humphries (USA 2), Joplin (USA 3)
Push athletes: Gibbs, Hoffman, Jones
Pilots: Bascue (USA 1), Church (USA 2), Geoff Gadbois (USA 3)
Push athletes: Williamson, McConnell, Adrian Adams, Chris Avery, Michael Fogt, Kris Horn, Dakota Lynch, Jimmy Reed, Kyle Wilcox
The World Cup series begins Dec. 7-8 in Lake Placid.