Uhlaender Just Misses Medals, Finishes Fourth in Altenberg, Germany

Dec. 05, 2008, 8:29 a.m. (ET)

Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager

(518) 523-1842, ext 106, abird@usbsf.com


For Immediate Release

December 5, 2008


Uhlaender Just Misses Medals, Finishes Fourth in Altenberg, Germany

ALTENBERG, Germany The second stop of the women’s skeleton World Cup tour took place in Altenberg, Germany today, site of the 2008 World Championships.    Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.), the World Championship bronze medalist, finished fourth today in snowy conditions.


To watch Uhlaender battle the conditions, visit www.UniversalSports.com and click on the Luge and Bobsled Channel under "Select A Sport."


“It was snowing on and off throughout the race,” said Martin Rettl, U.S. skeleton driving coach and 2002 Olympic silver medalist.  “Katie really proved that she is a great competitor today, and you can see that she slides with a lot of heart.”


Uhlaender pushed a start time of 5.83 seconds for a run of 59.94, putting her in fifth position going into the second heat.


“I love this track,” said Uhlaender. “I was too hyped up before the first run, and I’m still getting the race jitters out of the way.”


Improving her start in the second heat with a push time of 5.76 seconds, Uhlaender slid the snowy track for a second run of 1:01.35, moving her up one position.  The two-time World Cup champion slid into fourth place with a combined time of 2:01.29.


“I’m happy with my result,” said Uhlaender.  “My knee is starting to feel stronger after surgery this summer, and I know I need to be patient with the injury.  I think my start will improve each week, and getting back on the medal stand is attainable.”


Reigning World Champion Anja Huber claimed gold on her home track with a total time of 1:59.82 after sliding runs of 59.26 and 1:00.56.  German teammate Kerstin Szymkowiak, World Championship bronze medalist, slid to a silver medal today with a two-run total of 1:59.95.  Szymkowiak tied Huber in the first heat with a time of 59.26 seconds, and slid a second run of 1:00.69.  Edging Uhlaender out for the bronze medal was World and Olympic champion Maya Pedersen from Switzerland with a total time of 2:00.81 (59.67, 1:01.14). 


Noelle Pikus-Pace (Orem, Utah), the 2007 World Champion, struggled today with one of the world’s most notoriously difficult tracks, finishing ninth with a combined time of 2:03.73. 


“Noelle’s sled skid into kreisel, a very difficult 360-degree corner,” said Rettl.  “She lost a lot of speed in the second run, which cost her a few spots.  Noelle hasn’t been to this track in several years, so there’s a lot to learn in only a few short days of training.”


Pikus-Pace pushed a time of 5.88 and navigated her sled to the finish in 1:00.29, placing her in seventh after the first heat. In the second heat, Pikus-Pace pushed a start time of 5.91 seconds, sliding a run of 1:03.44 for a ninth place finish behind a list of World and Olympic medalists. 


Courtney Yamada (Boise, Idaho), the third U.S. sled entered in the competition, finished 14th with a total time of 2:04.94.  Yamada, weighing in at 115-pounds, had trouble with the snow.


“Courtney was effected the most by the snow because she is so light,” said Rettl.  “She trained very well this week, and it’s unfortunate that the weather may have effected her result.  But, that’s a part of racing.”


Yamada pushed start times of 5.78 and 5.69 for runs of 1:01.65 and 1:03.29, respectively. 


Coverage from today’s competition can be viewed on-demand by visiting UniversalSports.com.  Universal Sports TV will also offer a one-hour highlight show on Tuesday, Dec. 9th from 7-10 pm ET.


For additional information, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at (518) 523-1842, ext. 106, or abird@usbsf.com. 



1. Anja Huber (GER) 1:59.82 (59.26, 1:00.56); 2. Kerstin Szymkowiak (GER) 1:59.95 (59.26, 1:00.69); 3. Maya Pedersen (SUI) 2:00.81 (59.67, 1:01.14); 4. Katie Uhlaender (USA) 2:01.29 (59.94, 1:01.35);…9. Noelle Pikus-Pace (USA) 2:03.73 (1:00.29, 1:03.44);…14. Courtney Yamada (USA) 2:04.94 (1:01.65, 1:03.29);



About the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation

The United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. The USBSF would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: Allianz Life, Vilter Manufacturing, KBC Helmets, Luminox Watch Company and ULU Boots. The USBSF would also like to thank the following sponsors and suppliers for their partner, the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project:  Whelen Engineering, PPG, Columbia Sportswear, JEGS Automotive, Lucas Oil, Mac Tools and Racing Electronics.  For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.