SKELETON: Uhlaender Bests Olympic Performance, Finishing Fourth on 2006 Olympic Track in Women's Skeleton World Cup
CESANA, Italy-Defending World Cup Champion Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.) finished fourth in the women's skeleton World Cup competition on the 2006 Olympic track in Cesana, Italy today. Uhleander continues to improve on the difficult track, having placed sixth at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games, fifth last season in the World Cup, and fourth today. After pushing the fifth fastest time of the first heat, Uhlaender maintained her speed down the 19-curve track for a time of 59.61 seconds. Uhlaender improved in her second run with a time of 59.55 seconds, fourth best of the heat, to move into fourth place with a two-run total of 1:59.16. Kerstin Juergens repeated her gold medal performance in Cesana last season, winning today by only 0.04 seconds. Juergens slid runs of 59.13 and 59.25 for a combined time of 1:58.38. Current World Cup leader Michelle Kelly from Canada claimed the silver medal with a total time of 1:58.42 after runs of 59.29 and 59.13. Juergens and Kelly tied for the fastest time of the day, a 59.13. In third was Germany's Anja Huber with a combined time of 1:58.69 (59.17, 59.52). Courtney Yamada (Boise, Idaho) finished 16th today after runs of 1:01.00 and 1:00.91 for a combined time of 2:01.91. Yamada made her World Cup debut after winning the America's Cup title in 2005, and his since been gaining experience in international competition. Annie O'Shea (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) experienced the tricky 2006 Olympic track for the first time this week, finishing 0.02 seconds from her teammate in 17th. O'Shea slid a two-run total time of 2:01.93 after runs of 1:00.98 and 1:00.95. The 2007 America's Cup Champion pushed a 5.08 and 5.09, fifth and sixth fastest of the competition, respectively. O'Shea made her World Cup debut this year, and will confront many of the European tracks for the first time this season. Log onto www.NBCOlympics.com, presented by MediaZone, to watch the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Team in action LIVE and On-Demand. Men's and women's skeleton will compete in Cesana again tomorrow at 3 am and 7 am EST. For complete results of the race, please visit www.bobsleigh.com, the Web site of the Federation International de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganning (FIBT). Results: 1. Kerstin Juergens (GER) 1:58.38 (59.13, 59.25); 2. Michelle Kelly (CAN) 1:58.42 (59.29, 59.13); 3. Anja Huber (GER) 1:58.69 (59.17, 59.52); 4. Katie Uhlaender (USA) 1:59.16 (59.61, 59.55);_16. Courtney Yamada (USA) 2:01.91 (1:01.00, 1:00.91); 17. Annie O'Shea (USA) 2:01.93 (1:00.98, 1:00.95); 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, Columbia Sportswear Company, ULU Boots, CW-X, KBC Helmets, Racing Electronics, Schenker Logistics, Speedo and Whelen Engineering. For more information, please visit the USBSF Web site at www.usbsf.com.