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Jamie Greubel Poser, Olympic medalist, retires from bobsled

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Jamie Greubel Poser, a 2014 Olympic bronze medalist, has retired from bobsled after two Winter Games and more than a decade in the sport.

“After taking some time to reflect, I’m incredibly proud and satisfied with everything I have accomplished in my career,” said Greubel Poser, who ended her career with a fifth-place finish in PyeongChang and is now teaching English at a school in Germany, where her Olympian husband is from. “Now, it feels like the right moment to begin the next chapter of my life.”

Greubel Poser, 34, converted to bobsled in 2007 after competing in the heptathlon and pentathlon at Cornell. She still holds school record scores and was inducted into its athletics Hall of Fame in 2016.

She began in bobsled as most do, as a brakewoman, and went to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics as an alternate.

“When I watched the Olympics Opening Ceremony and the Olympic bobsled competition, it really dawned on me for the first time that I really had a possibility of going to the Olympics,” she said. “I had been competing in the sport for two years, and I was doing it because I loved the competition, but in this moment I was really inspired, and it lit a fire for me to do whatever I could to make the Olympic team in four years.”

After switching to driving and overcoming a summer 2011 torn ACL playing soccer, she jumped to the top in the 2013-14 Olympic season.

Greubel Poser notched her first World Cup win as a driver, placed third in the World Cup standings and took bronze at the Sochi Games with brakewoman Aja Evans, also a former college track and field athlete (shot put).

“I think if you told me this, that I would get a medal here, now, I don’t think I would have believed you,” Greubel said that day in Russia.

Greubel Poser and gold and silver medalists Kaillie Humphries and Elana Meyers Taylor would regularly share podiums through the next Olympic cycle. Greubel Poser won the 2016-17 World Cup title by a mere 14 points by taking the last race at the PyeongChang Olympic track.

Her second Olympics didn’t go as hoped. Greubel Poser and Evans paired again and finished fifth, 13 hundredths shy of a medal.

“It’s a test of skill and it’s very challenging to do the same thing four times, and I did the best I could do,” Greubel Poser said after the last two runs of her career in South Korea. “I made a few mistakes, but I gave absolutely everything I had today, and I couldn’t have driven better.”

PyeongChang carried other significance for Greubel Poser.

“It would really be the trip of a lifetime for my family,” she said before the Games.

Greubel Poser competed at the Olympics in the same sport as her husband, German push athlete Christian Poser. They married in summer 2014 after meeting at a 2012 World Cup race and competing as an engaged couple in Sochi.

Her younger sister by 17 years, Elizabeth, was adopted from South Korea when Greubel Poser was in high school. Elizabeth flew to South Korea for the Games — her first time in her birth country since she was an infant — and watched her sister race in person for the first time.

“When I was first introduced to bobsled, I was drawn to the opportunity to be part of a team again and because I loved to compete,” Greubel Poser said. “I had no idea where it would eventually take me. It took me to the top of the world, and I certainly never imagined it would lead me to meeting my husband.”

NBC Olympic Research contributed to this report.

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MORE: Russian bobsledder who tested positive in PyeongChang cleared

Asbel Kiprop, Olympic 1500m champ, banned four years

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Kenyan Asbel Kiprop, the 2008 Olympic 1500m champion and a three-time world champ, was banned four years after testing positive for EPO in November 2017, according to track and field’s doping watchdog organization.

The ban is backdated to Feb. 3, 2018, when the 29-year-old was provisionally suspended after the failed test.

Kiprop repeatedly denied doping since last May, when he first acknowledged the positive test. Most recently, a 3,000-word defense from his lawyer was posted on Kiprop’s Facebook page.

Kiprop’s defenses included saying he was a victim of extortion and that he was offered “a reward” of becoming an anti-doping ambassador if he admitted guilt. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), the IAAF’s independent organization to monitor doping and corruption, denied the latter last May.

A disciplinary panel dismissed six defenses from exonerating him, including the possibility his sample was spiked, in handing out the four-year ban.

Kiprop, the pre-eminent 1500m runner of the last decade, can appeal the ban.

At 19, he finished second in the Beijing Olympic 1500m but was upgraded to gold a year later after Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi failed a drug test. He is the youngest Olympic 1500m medalist of all time, according to the OlyMADMen.

Kiprop went on to earn three straight world titles in the 1500m in 2011, 2013 and 2015, matching the feats of retired legends Noureddine Morceli and Hicham El Guerrouj.

He struggled in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, finishing last in the London final with a hamstring injury and sixth in the Rio final won by American rival Matthew Centrowitz.

Kiprop has targeted El Guerrouj’s world record of 3:26:00, missing the mark by .69 of a second in 2015.

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Maggie Nichols is second woman in 20 years to repeat as NCAA all-around champ

Maggie Nichols
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Oklahoma junior and world champion gymnast Maggie Nichols became the first woman to repeat as NCAA all-around champion in 12 years, returning from a heel injury to compete on all four events for the first time since January on Friday.

Nichols, a Rio Olympic hopeful before being beset by a torn meniscus in 2016, joined 2004 Olympic silver medalist Courtney Kupets as the only women to win back-to-back NCAA all-arounds in the 2000s.

A junior, Nichols can next year join Jenny Hansen as the only women to three-peat in NCAA history.

Oklahoma goes for a third team title in four years on Saturday night against UCLA (featuring Olympic champions Madison Kocian and Kyla Ross), LSU and Denver.

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NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships Individual Results
All-Around
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma) — 39.7125
2. Lexy Ramler (Minnesota) — 39.6625
2. Kyla Ross (UCLA) — 39.6625
4. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 39.65
5. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 39.6

Vault
1. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 9.95
1. Derrian Gobourne (Auburn)
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)

Uneven Bars
1. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 9.95

Balance Beam
1. Natalie Wojcik (Michigan) — 9.95

Floor Exercise
1. Alicia Boren (Florida) — 9.95
1. Lynnzee Brown (Denver)
1. Brenna Dowell (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)