U.S. Skeleton Team Claims Five America’s Cup Medals

Nov. 01, 2008, 3:38 p.m. (ET)

Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager

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

 

For Immediate Release

October 31, 2008

 

U.S. Skeleton Team Claims Five America’s Cup Medals

 

PARK CITY, Utah- The U.S. team entered eight athletes in the first skeleton America’s Cup competition held at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah, and claimed five of the six available medals.  Two-time World Cup Champion Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.) was victorious today in the women’s skeleton race, and celebrated with 2007 World Cup Champion Zach Lund (Salt Lake City, Utah), who won the men’s competition.

 

Uhlaender and Lund were both granted byes onto the 2008-09 World Cup team for their performances the previous year, and did not have to compete in national team trials.  Both athletes used the experience of today’s competition to prepare for the upcoming World Cup season.

 

“It was my first competition of the year, so it felt good to use this as an opportunity to get race ready,” said Lund.  “The U.S. has a strong team, so taking five medals away from this race isn’t surprising.”

 

Lund slid the fastest runs of the race, a 51.36 and 51.76, for a combined time of 1:43.12 to take the win over a field of 21 international sleds.

 

“I was nervous before my first run, and I was actually excited about being nervous” said Lund.  “Whenever I have an emotion, I slide better.  It felt good to feel the nerves and to get things firing again.”

 

Finishing 0.50 tenths behind the previous World Cup Champion for second place was 2007 Intercontinental Cup ChampionMatt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wis.).  Antoine slid the two fastest runs of the competition, a 51.51 and 52.11, for a total time of 1:43.62. 

 

In third was Caleb Smith (Lake Placid, N.Y.), who secured his spot on the World Cup team last weekend at the conclusion of team trials.  Smith helped the U.S. sweep the men’s podium with a total time of 1:43.93 with runs of 51.61, 52.32. 

 

In the women’s skeleton field, Uhlaender dominated the 17-sled competition with the two fastest runs of the race, a 51.75 and 52.82.  Uhlaender led the field by 0.52 seconds with a combined time of 1:44.57.

 

“I had a lot of fun today,” said Uhlaender.  “I’ve only been on my sled for a few days this season, so I definitely need more time on my sled.  My plan was to use this race as prep for the World Cup season, and I felt like things started to click for me today. Now I have almost a month to test equipment and continue training, and I’m stoked about the season starting.”

In second was New Zealand’s Tionette Stoddard with a total time of 1:45.09 (52.13, 52.96), while U.S. athlete Courtney Yamada (Boise, Idaho) claimed the fifth U.S. medal of the day with a third place finish.  Yamada burst off the starting block with the fastest push times of the competition, a 5.03 and 5.08, for runs of 51.95 and 53.20, respectively, totaling 1:45.16.

 

For complete results of today’s America’s Cup race, please visit www.fibt.com.  If you need additional information, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at (518) 523-1842, ext. 106, or abird@usbsf.com. 

 

Results

Men’s Skeleton:

1. Zach Lund (USA) 1:43.12 (51.36, 51.76); 2. Matt Antoine (USA) 1:43.62 (51.51, 52.11); 3. Caleb Smith (USA) 1:43.93 (51.61, 52.32); 4. Stokes Aitken (USA) 1:44.08 (51.74, 52.34);

 

Women’s Skeleton:

1. Katie Uhlaender  (USA) 1:44.57 (51.75, 52.82); 2. Tionette Stoddard (NZL) 1:45.09 (52.13, 52.96); 3. Courtney Yamada (USA) 1:45.16 (51.95, 53.20);…5. Keslie Tomlinson (USA) 1:46.30 (53.29, 53.01);… Annie O’Shea (USA) (54.23, DNS);

 

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, CW-X, 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.

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