Pikus-Pace and Uhlaender in medal contention after day one of World Championship racing

Jan. 31, 2013, 6:25 a.m. (ET)

Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director
(518) 354-2250, abird@usbsf.com

Pikus-Pace and Uhlaender in medal contention after day one of women’s skeleton World Championship racing

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (Jan. 31, 2013)- Women’s skeleton competitors Noelle Pikus-Pace (Orem, Utah) and Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.) are in the medal hunt after the first day of World Championship racing in St. Moritz.  Pikus-Pace is seated comfortably in second place, and Uhlaender is within striking distance of the medals in seventh.  The winner will be declared tomorrow after the fourth and final heat. 

“I feel good about where I’m sitting and hopefully I can come back tomorrow with two better runs,” Pikus-Pace said.  “I made some mistakes that I don’t usually make and I’m not very happy with today’s runs.  I felt sluggish and I just wasn’t my best, and I feel like there’s more in the bag.”

Pikus-Pace started her bid for the medals with a first run of 1:09.99 to nestle her between British athletes Shelley Rudman and Elizabeth Yarnold.  Rudman had a distant lead of nearly half a second, while Pikus-Pace was 0.16 seconds ahead of Yarnold for silver medal position.  Defending champion Uhlaender was 0.17 seconds from Yarnold in fourth with a run of 1:10.32.

Rudman distanced herself from the field even more in the second heat by posting a run of 1:09.49 for a two-run combined time of 2:19.03.  Pikus-Pace had another smooth run, but was unable to catch the British Olympic medalist.  The American crossed the finish line in 2:20.03 to finish one second off the pace, but was still 0.15 seconds ahead of Yarnold for second position. 

“Hopefully I can get some good sleep tonight and come back feeling refreshed tomorrow,” Pikus-Pace said.  “I’ve always liked the four heat format, and I’m looking forward to getting closer to the lead, if not moving up."

Uhlaender threaded together a tidy second run, but a competitive field of athletes hungry for the podium bettered their runs to bump Uhlaender into seventh.  Uhlaender’s two-run total of 2:20.58 is 0.40 seconds from Yarnold in third.  With two runs to go in tomorrow’s final heats, Pikus-Pace and Uhlaender have the ability to gain on their competitors. 

“I know I can do better,” Pikus-Pace said. “Tomorrow should be exciting.”

The winner will be declared after the final two runs tomorrow at 9 am local time.  Please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at abird@usbsf.com or 518-354-2250 with media inquiries.

Results (Heat 1 & 2):


1. Shelley Rudman (GBR) 2:19.03 (1:09.54, 1:09.49); 2. Noelle Pikus-Pace (USA) 2:20.03 (1:09.99, 1:10.04); 3. Elizabeth Yarnold (GBR) 2:20.18 (1:10.15, 1:10.03);…7. Katie Uhlaender (USA) 2:20.58 (1:10.32, 1:10.26);


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