Jamie Greubel was so good at so many events, she still holds the Outdoor Heps record in the heptathlon (5,465 in 2006). So when she finished up at Cornell University, she had a host of track events she could have continued to pursue.
Well, she went off script. Or at least off track. Now she is an international medalist in the bobsled, winning silver at the La Plagne World Cup race on Friday in France. It was her first medal as she teamed with Emily Azevedo.
From the Team USA website:
“I’ve been so close and really wanted to break through to the medals, but I just wasn’t sure when it was going to happen,” Greubel said. “This is a blur for me. Emily and I are so excited, and it’s really neat to be on the podium with our teammates.”
Greubel missed most of last season while recovering from knee surgery, but returned with full strength and power this fall to emerge as one of the nation’s top pilots. Greubel has been on the cusp of medaling this season with two fourth-place results, and finally cracked the barrier to earn her first medal today.
Greubel and Azevedo pushed a start time of 6.52 seconds to give the Sliding for Hope sled momentum down the course. Greubel threaded together a smooth run to put the team in second position behind reigning Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries after the first heat.
U.S. women’s bobsled head coach Todd Hays wouldn’t allow his athletes to look at time sheets during training this week in an effort to keep them focused on learning the track instead of worrying about times. His method worked.
“I really didn’t know where we were positioned going into the race, but it helped me concentrate on what I needed to do on race day,” Greubel said. “Todd and Emily really helped me stay calm and focused between runs as well, which was great since I’ve never been in this position before. Todd told me to do the same thing I did on the first run, and I did.”
Elsewhere in the Heps Nation, former Columbia superstar Delilah DiCrescenzo is turning into quite a road racer. She won the NYRR Ted Corbitt Classic 15k in chilly Central Park on Saturday, finishing in 50:47. Only four men ran faster than DiCrescenzo, including Penn graduate Phil Cawkwell who was second in 49:14.
There was a great story in the Daily Princetonian about the Tigers’ head coaches for track & field. Fred Samara and Peter Farrell are the long-tenured coaches in the League now and they’ve both continued to be wildly successful through all the years. “We’re distinctly different people,” Farrell said. “Samara has a real business sense, where I’m sort of a more personal kind of guy.”
By the way, tomorrow in Orlando, Fla., Samara’s squad will be honored by Accusplit as the 4×1,500m relay of the year. The foursome of Michael Williams, Joe Stilin, Trevor Van Ackeren and Donn Cabral actually ran further than the award’s name, winning the Penn Relays’ 4xMile Championship of America in 16:16.79.
And finally, the folks at Yale have profiled track athlete Ryan Laemel on the alumni giving page of the University’s website. Said Laemel: “My favorite extracurricular activity at Yale is competing in Varsity Cross Country and Track & Field. I love being part of a team. The day-by-day commitment and dedication needed for a three-season sport has shaped me into a self-motivated, goal-seeking, and mentally strong individual. Running has taught me the virtues of camaraderie and the spoils of hard work. It has taught me how to set goals and work toward them; how to appropriately deal with failure and success; how to take things in stride. And, to my surprise, it has been the glue that holds me together. When I am confronted with tough academic times or other problems, I can always count on being able to lace up my shoes and hit the roads — I see the streets of New Haven as my roads to redemption.”