Uhlaender Fourth in 2010 Olympic Dress Rehearsal

Feb. 05, 2009, 10:14 p.m. (ET)

Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager

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

For Immediate Release

February 5, 2008Uhlaender Fourth in 2010 Olympic Dress Rehearsal

WHISTLER, Canada-The women's skeleton World Cup competition in Whistler, Canada today marked the first test event on the 2010 Olympic track. Athletes snaked down 16 corners over 5,575 feet to battle for the gold on one of the world's fastest tracks. Defending World Cup Champion Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.) finished fourth, just six-hundredths of a second from the podium. "You have to chase the speed the entire way down, and this is such a fast track," said Uhlaender. "It's all about how fast you can go, and I felt that speed today. I'm ready for next year."

Uhlaender pushed a start time of 5.00 seconds for a run of 55.39, placing her seventh after the first heat. The U.S. veteran powered off the block in the second heat with a push time of 5.01 before racing to the finish with the second fastest time of the second run, 55.38 seconds.

"Honestly, the track didn't click for me until today," said Uhlaender. "All week I had my fingers crossed that I'd stay on my sled out of corner 12. I fell in love with this track, and for the first time today I could feel the slope of the track and where you pick up speed. Now that I've felt that, it's just going to get better."

Uhlaender crossed the finish with a combined time of one minute, 50.77 seconds, and watched as her time held up against the next three sliders to move into fourth.

Marion Trott from Germany claimed her first victory of the season, winning the Olympic dress rehearsal with a total time of 1:49.86 after sliding runs of 54.90 and 54.96. Amy Williams from Great Britain took silver after sliding to the finish in 54.95 and 55.44 seconds for a combined time of 1:50.39. Germany's Anja Huber slid to her fourth medal of the year, finishing third with a two-run total of 1:50.71 (55.26, 55.45).

Canada's Melissa Hollingsworth broke the track record for the lead in the first heat with a run of 54.81 seconds in front of a large crowd of hometown media, but made a driving mistake in the third interval of the course to fall back into ninth position. Keslie Tomlinson (Potomac Falls, Va.) joined the World Cup team earlier in the week from the Intercontinental Cup circuit, and finished with an impressive eighth place result on the newly built course with a total time of 1:51.42.

"I was blown away today," said Tomlinson. "My time in the first run was over a second faster than any of my runs this week. It was a shock to my system. I was so excited, and this experience has been amazing."

Tomlinson pushed start times of 5.14 and 5.13 for runs of 55.56 and 55.86, respectively, to slide her best-ever World Cup result.

"There are so many talented athletes on the Intercontinental Cup, and any of us could step up to the World Cup," said Tomlinson. "We have such a deep field of athletes. This week has been incredible, and I want to thank our coaching staff and the U.S. Olympic Comittee for the support they provided. It was a dream come true this week to have cameras covering every entrance and exit of the track, and I learned so much about sliding."

2007 World Champion Noelle Pikus-Pace (Orem, Utah) returned to competition this season after taking a year off to have her first child, and finished 13th today with a two-run total of 1:52.89. Pikus-Pace pushed start times of 5.16 and 5.12 for runs of 56.05 and 56.84 seconds.

"This week has been good for me to gather information for next season so that I can come back full force," said Pikus-Pace. "I'm not happy about my finish, but I am happy that I was able to figure things out."


World Cup coverage from Whistler will be offered on-demand on UniversalSports.com. Universal Sports TV will offer 5 one-hour shows from Feb. 10 - 12, 2009, and women's skeleton will be broadcast on the 10th from 7 - 8 PM ET.

Complete results can be found by visiting the web site for the Federation Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing at www.fibt.com. For additional information, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at (518) 523-1842, ext. 106, or abird@usbsf.com. Results:

1. Marion Trott (GER) 1:49.86 (54.90, 54.96); 2. Amy Williams (GBR) 1:50.39 (54.95, 55.44); 3. Anja Huber (GER) 1:50.71 (55.26, 55.45); 4. Katie Uhlaender (USA) 1:50.77 (55.39, 55.38);...8. Keslie Tomlinson (USA) 1:51.42 (55.56, 55.86);...13. Noelle Pikus-Pace (USA) 1:52.89 (56.05, 56.84);

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, ULU Boots and Ferris Mfg. Corp. 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, EXA, Lumber Liquidators, Lincoln Electronics and Racing Electronics. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.