U.S. National Skeleton Team Trials Conclude in Park City, Utah

Oct. 25, 2008, 11:35 p.m. (ET)
Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager

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

For Immediate Release

October 25, 2008

U.S. National Skeleton Team Trials Conclude in Park City, Utah

PARK CITY, Utah -U.S. national skeleton team trials concluded tonight on the 2002 Olympic track in Park City, Utah.  Noelle Pikus-Pace (Orem, Utah) claimed her third victory out of four team trials races, and Eric Bernotas (Avondale, Pa.) continued his domination by sweeping team trials with his fourth win tonight.

Pius-Pace, the 2007 World Champion, concluded team trials with her third win this season, finishing with a combined time of 1:42.96.  Pikus-Pace struggled at the start on her first run, pushing 5.21 seconds, and slid to the finish in 51.51 seconds for only the third best time of the heat.  Pushing 5.18 seconds in the final heat, Pikus-Pace drove herself into the lead with a finish time of 51.45. 

 "It took a little more energy to get motivated than it has for the last three races, because I knew I had made the team after yesterday's competition," said Pikus-Pace.  "It's nice to have team trials over, so now I can focus on competing on the World Cup tour."

2008 National Champion Keslie Tomlinson (Potomac Falls, Va.) finished 0.55 seconds behind Pikus-Pace to finish second with a total time of 1:43.51.  Tomlinson slid the fastest run of the first heat, a 51.36, and the second fastest run of the final heat, a 52.15.

Courtney Yamada (Boise, Idaho) powered off the starting block, pushing start times of 5.06 and 5.03 seconds.  Yamada slid finish times of 51.46 and 52.21 for a combined time of 1:43.67 to claim third in tonight's competition. 

"Keslie and Courtney threw down some really nice runs today," said Pikus-Pace.  "Having such a tight competition within the U.S. really pushes each of us to become better.  Everyone slid really well over these last two weeks, and it's been an honor to compete against such great athletes."

Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.) earned a bye onto the 2008-09 World Cup team, and is exempt from team trials after winning her second consecutive World Cup title and a silver World Championship medal during the 2007-08 season. 

Eric Bernotas (Avondale, Pa.) dominated team trials, winning all four competitions to make the World Cup team.  Bernotas finished with a total time of 1:40.48 after sliding the fastest times of the race, a 50.04 and 50.44. 

"I am pleased with the results of trials," said Bernotas.  "My focus wasn't on sweeping the races, but on what I needed to improve on heading into the season.  This field of men rose to the occasion, and made me slide to the best of my abilities."

Finishing 0.22 seconds behind Bernotas was 2007 Intercontinental Champion Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien) with a combined time of 1:40.70.  Antoine slid the second fastest runs of the competition, a 50.22 and 50.48.

In third was Stokes Aitken (Salt Lake City, Utah) with finish times of 50.61 and 50.63 for a total time of 1:41.24.

Zach Lund (Salt Lake City, Utah) finished the 2007-08 season ranked third in the world, earning him a bye onto the 2008-09 World Cup team and exempting him from team trials. 

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


Women's Skeleton:

1. Noelle Pikus-Pace 1:42.96 (51.51, 51.45); 2. Keslie Tomlinson 1:43.51 (51.36, 52.15); 3. Courtney Yamada 1:43.67 (51.46, 52.21); 4. Kimber Gabryszak 1:44.16 (51.88, 52.28); 5. Rebecca Sorensen 1:44.38 (51.91, 52.47); 6. Annie O'Shea 1:44.39 (51.66, 52.73); 7. Cassie Revelli 1:45.29 (52.06, 53.23); 8. Katie Koczynski 1:45.37 (52.55, 52.82); 9. Rachelle Rasmussen 1:46.05 (52.88, 53.17);

Men's Skeleton:

1. Eric Bernotas 1:40.48 (50.04, 50.44); 2. Matt Antoine 1:40.70 (50.22, 50.48); 3. Stokes Aitken 1:41.24 (50.61, 50.63); 4. Caleb Smith 1:41.33 (50.74, 50.59); 5. John Daly 1:41.38 (50.43, 50.95); 6. Luke Schulz 1:41.76 (50.58, 51.18); 7. Kyle Tress 1:42.33 (50.85, 51.48); 8. Chris Hedquist 1:42.49 (51.13, 51.36); 9. Kevin Ellis 1:42.76 (51.31, 51.45); 10. Chris Burgess 1:42.86 (51.35, 51.51);

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 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/.