Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director
(518) 354-2250, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pikus-Pace and Antoine are repeat winners in second skeleton selection race
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (October 22, 2013)- Noelle Pikus-Pace (Orem, Utah) and Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wisc.) were repeat winners in today’s skeleton selection race at Lake Placid’s Olympic Sports Complex. Pikus-Pace finished a distant 0.79 seconds ahead of the women’s field to claim her second-consecutive win, and Antoine led the men by 0.29 seconds for his second victory of the season.
“The Olympic Regional Development Authority had a lot of challenges to overcome in these last three weeks, yet they were able to provide us with terrific track conditions for our races,” said skeleton head coach Tuffy Latour. “We are very grateful for their hard work to get us on ice this early in the season. We’ve got a talented group of athletes battling for a spot on the national team, so it’ll be interesting to see how races finish up in Park City, Utah next week.”
Athletes are racing for one of 11 spots on the national team (six men, five women). Pikus-Pace, Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.) and John Daly (Smithtown, N.Y.) have a bye onto the team based on last season’s results, leaving eight positions up for grabs. Racing will continue with the final two competitions on the 2002 Olympic track in Park City Oct. 28-29 before the roster is named.
Pikus-Pace dominated the field by clocking the fastest runs of the women’s race, 56.43 and 57.16 seconds, for a total time of 1:53.59 to extend her lead in trials points.
“Anytime I have the opportunity to compete, I’m going to utilize it,” Pikus-Pace said. “I am constantly learning new things about this sport and about myself. Racing against the best athletes in the U.S. only pushes me to be my best, and that’s what I’m striving for.”
Pikus-Pace isn’t alone in her quest for gold. Her husband, Janson, and two kids, Lacee, 5, and Traycen, 2, are traveling with Pikus-Pace as she makes a bid for her second Olympic team.
“My husband and kids are my foundation,” Pikus-Pace said. “They make it possible for me to reach higher levels and be more competitive than I have ever been. Having them with me allows me to lose sight of distractions that many athletes get caught up with and focus on the things that matter most.”
Annie O’Shea (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) posted a two-run total of 1:54.38 after crossing the finish in 56.87 and 57.51 seconds to comfortably take second place in the selection race series.
Savannah Graybill (Denver, Pa.) is in a favorable position to make the team after finishing third again with a total time of 1:55.05. Rachelle Rasmussen (Belmont, Calif.) jumped up a position from yesterday to finish fourth (1:55.61).
Antoine once again posted the fastest finish times of the men’s competition, 54.83 and 55.18 seconds, to lead the men’s race (1:50.01). John Daly (Smithtown, N.Y.) closed the gap today and trailed his teammate by just 0.29 seconds after sliding runs of 55.01 and 55.29 seconds (1:50.30).
“Competitors like John don’t allow any victory to be easy,” Antoine said. “It keeps me motivated to know that I can’t let up or make any mistakes. Kyle, John and I have pushed each other to be better over the past few years.”
Mike Dellemann (Oregon, Wisc.) bettered his chances of making the team after securing third place today with a total time of 1:50.96. Greg West (Orange Beach, Ala.) rebounded from a ninth place finish yesterday with a fourth place result today (1:51.67). Tom Santagato (Astoria, N.Y.) finished fifth (1:51.72), followed by Kyle Tress (Ewing, N.J.) and Kevin McGlade (Stafford, Va.) tied for sixth (1:51.84).
Athletes travel to Park City to begin official training later this week. Skeleton racing will resume on Monday.
“It feels good to get the first races out of the way, because there are always nerves when you’re starting back up,” Antoine said. “Next week is a new challenge, a new track, and I’ll be back at zero. I’m looking at the season as a whole, and I still have a lot of work ahead of me, so I can’t celebrate just yet.”
Media interested in attending selection races should contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at email@example.com or 518-354-2250 to request credentials.
1. Noelle Pikus-Pace 1:53.59 (56.43, 57.16); 2. Annie O’Shea 1:54.38 (56.87, 57.51); 3. Savannah Graybill 1:55.05 (57.00, 58.05); 4. Rachelle Rasmussen 1:55.61 (57.41, 58.20); 5. Lauri Bausch 1:55.68 (57.71, 57.97); 6. Meghan Sullivan 1:55.98 (57.94, 58.04); 7. Kimber Gabryszack 1:56.08 (57.55, 58.53); 8. Kellie Delka 1:56.23 (57.42, 58.81); 9. Veronica Day 1:56.24 (58.00, 58.24); 10. Gracie Clapp 1:56.27 (58.04, 58.23); 11. Lauren Salter 1:56.97 (58.45, 58.52); 12. Caitlin Carter 1:57.17 (58.19, 58.98); 12. Samantha Culiver 1:57.17 (58.54, 58.63); 14. Megan Henry 1:57.41 (58.59, 58.82); 15. Sherri Emery 1:58.45 (59.01, 59.44);
1. Matt Antoine 1:50.01 (54.83, 55.18); 2. John Daly 1:50.30 (55.01, 55.29); 3. Mike Dellemann 1:50.96 (55.20, 55.76); 4. Greg West 1:51.67 (55.59, 56.08); 5. Tom Santagato 1:51.72 (55.59, 56.13); 6. Kyle Tress 1:52.18 (55.39, 56.79); 6. Kevin McGlade 1:52.18 (55.75, 56.43); 8. Allen Blackell 1:52.35 (56.28, 56.07); 9. Austin McCrary 1:52.55 (56.06, 56.49); 10. Alex Ivanov 1:52.57 (55.79, 56.78); 11. Mike Rogals 1:53.46 (56.43, 57.03); 12. Brad Stewart 1:53.93 (57.27, 56.66); 13. Kyle Brown 1:54.07 (57.06, 57.01); 14. Trent Kraychir 1:54.89 (57.38, 57.51); 15. Ryan Sweeney 1:54.93 (56.83, 58.10); 16. Nathan Crumpton 1:55.05 (56.82, 58.23); 17. Jake Miter 1:56.24 (58.21, 58.03);
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: BMW of North America, Century 21, Under Armour, Kampgrounds of America, Boomerang Carnets, 24 Hour Fitness, Putinka Vodka, KBC Helmets, Azad Watches, Latta USA, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Autism Speaks, Park City Lodging, Inc., EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.