Pikus-Pace Top U.S. Finisher in Königssee’s Women’s Skeleton World Cup

Jan. 09, 2009, 6:55 a.m. (ET)

Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager

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


For Immediate Release

January 9, 2009


Pikus-Pace Top U.S. Finisher in Königssee’s Women’s Skeleton World Cup

KÖNIGSSEE, Germany– The women’s skeleton World Cup tour reconvened after the holiday break in Königssee, Germany today.  A competitive field of 23 sleds battled for the podium, and Noelle Pikus-Pace (Orem, Utah) was the highest U.S. finisher in ninth on one of the most difficult tracks on the international circuit. 


“You need to feel the flow of the curves and be rhythmic on this track,” said Pikus-Pace.  “If you’re not, then it will compound all the way down. There are unique curve combinations on this course that you can’t lose your focus on.”


Pikus-Pace led the U.S. women, finishing ninth with a two-run total of one minute, 40.22 seconds after sliding runs of 50.31 and 49.91 seconds. The 2007 World Champion took the 2007-08 season off to have her first child, and has struggled with her return. 


“It’s taking me some time to get back into sliding after taking a season off,” said Pikus-Pace.  “I didn’t think it would be this hard to get back into competitive mode, but I’m learning every day and trying to get back to where I need to be mentally.”


Current World Cup leader Anja Huber from Germany claimed gold on one of her home tracks after sliding runs of 49.55 and 49.30 for a combined time of 1:38.85.  Olympic silver medalist Shelley Rudman from Great Britain finished second with a total time of 1:39.09 (49.84, 49.25), while Germany’s Marion Trott was third with a combined time of 1:39.20 (49.65, 49.55). 


“The field is small but really tight,” said Pikus-Pace.  “The competition level has stepped up over the last year, and it’s fun to compete with them because it forces us as a nation to get stronger and better.”


Two-time World Cup champion Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.) finished 11th with a two-run total of 1:40.45.  Uhlaender pushed start times of 5.21 and 5.16 for runs of 50.10 and 50.35, respectively.


“These were my worst runs all week, and my worst finish in three years,” said Uhlaender.  “I guess that’s sport.  I take risks on my runs, and I’m always pushing the edge.  This time it didn’t work out.  I have no excuses.  I did the best I could, and it wasn’t enough today.”


Courtney Yamada (Boise, Idaho) was the third U.S. sled entered in today’s competition, and finished 18th with a combined time of 1:42.61 after sliding down the course in 51.43 and 51.18 seconds.  Yamada is one of the most competitive athletes at the start, and pushed the third fastest time in the second heat, a 5.09. 


Watch today’s results on-demand by visiting www.UniversalSports.com.  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, orabird@usbsf.com. 



1. Anja Huber (GER) 1:38.85 (49.55, 49.30); 2. Shelley Rudman (GBR) 1:39.09 (49.84, 49.25); 3. Marion Trott (GER) 1:39.20 (49.65, 49.55);...9. Noelle Pikus-Pace (USA) 1:40.22 (50.31, 49.91);...11. Katie Uhlaender (USA) 1:40.45 (50.10, 50.35);...18. Courtney Yamada (USA) 1:42.61 (51.43, 51.18);



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 athttp://bobsled.teamusa.org.