Pikus-Pace Back on Track
Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager
(518) 523-1842, ext 106, email@example.com
For Immediate Release
February 11, 2009
Pikus-Pace Back on Track
PARK CITY, Utah- Noelle Pikus-Pace (Orem, Utah) made a comeback statement today by winning the bronze medal in the women's skeleton World Cup event on her home track in Park City, Utah. Defending World Cup Champion Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.) finished just outside of the medals in fifth.
"It meant a world of difference to have my family and friends cheering for me at the start," said Pikus-Pace. "I finally felt like myself on my sled again, and I know it's because I had so much support at this race. I am so grateful to have them here."
Pikus-Pace won the 2007 World Championships after returning from a devastating injury, and took last season off to have her first child, Lacee Lynne. Pikus-Pace has struggled with feeling comfortable on her sled since her comeback, but made a clear statement today that she's still in the mix by sliding a bronze medal performance with a combined time of one minute, 41.89 seconds.
"I actually put two runs together," said Pikus-Pace. "I haven't been able to do that since team trials this fall. I didn't worry about results today, and my goal was to put together two consistent runs. That's what the sport is about, but it's what I've been struggling with this year."
Pikus-Pace pushed start times of 5.26 and 5.22 for runs of 51.02 and 50.87 seconds, respectively, to medal in front of a hometown crowd.
"I don't want to be overly confident going into tomorrow's final World Cup," said Pikus-Pace. "I need to go back to the basics, and to get down the track with the fastest time I can in two runs."
Canadian Mellisa Hollingsworth rebounded from her performance on the 2010 Olympic track last week by claiming gold today with a total time of 1:41.62 after sliding runs of 50.89 and 50.73. Marion Trott from Germany continued her medal streak, sliding to the finish in 50.94 and 50.89 seconds for a combined time of 1:41.83 to claim silver.
Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.), who has battled a myriad of issues over the last year, including knee surgery and her father's illness, finished fifth.
"My mom surprised me by coming up last minute, which was awesome," said Uhlaender. "I found out last night that my dad can't come to World Championships like we planned because he's not doing well, so having my mom here meant a lot to me."
Uhlaender pushed start times of 5.22 and 5.11 for runs of 50.99 and 51.05, respectively. The defending World Cup Champion slid a two-run total of 1:42.04 to finish fifth.
"I felt like I never got to start this season," said Uhlaender. "I think it's a good setup for next season, because I haven't had anyone to chase over the last two years. Tomorrow is still within reach, so I plan on going hard and hopefully I'll be standing on the podium."
Courtney Yamada (Boise, Idaho) burst off the starting block with the fastest push times of the competition, 5.06 and 5.03 seconds. Yamada finished 11th after crossing the finish line in 51.33 and 51.26 for a two-run total of 1:42.59.
Competition will resume tomorrow at the Utah Olympic Park for the final World Cup event of the 2008-09 season before moving on to World Championships in Lake Placid, N.Y.
Complete results can be found by visiting the web site for the Federation Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing at http://www.fibt.om/. Watch today's results on-demand by visiting http://www.universalsports.com/.
For additional information, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at (518) 523-1842, ext. 106, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Mellisa Hollingsworth (CAN) 1:41.62 (50.89, 50.73); 2. Marion Trott (GER) 1:41.83 (50.94, 50.89); 3. Noelle Pikus-Pace (USA) 1:41.89 (51.02, 50.87);...5. Katie Uhlaender (USA) 1:42.04 (50.99, 51.05);...11. Courtney Yamada (USA) 1:42.59 (51.33, 51.26);
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/.