Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director
(518) 354-2250, email@example.com
Pikus-Pace and Antoine win third-consecutive skeleton selection race
PARK CITY, Utah (Oct. 28, 2013)- Noelle Pikus-Pace (Orem, Utah) and Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wisc.) won their third-consecutive skeleton selection race this morning. Pikus-Pace has already secured her spot on the national team, and Antoine has placed himself in contention for one of five available positions on the men’s team.
“This competition was pretty impressive,” Latour said. “Our rookies are giving the veterans a run for their money, and the talent and depth of this team just keeps getting better and better. I am very excited to be coaching these young athletes.”
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 national team positions up for grabs. Racing continues tomorrow from 7-9 pm MT in Park City before the roster is named on Wednesday morning.
Over a dozen of Pikus-Pace’s family and friends were trackside to cheer on the Utah native. Pikus-Pace’s daughter, Lacee, ran up to embrace mom at the finish following the final run.
“It’s incredible to have so much support on my home track,” Pikus-Pace said. “I have an amazing family, friend and fan base.”
Pikus-Pace had a convincing lead of 0.97 seconds to add another win to her sliding resume. The 2010 Olympian posted runs of 50.54 and 50.75 for a combined time of 1:41.29.
“It feels like it’s just coming together from the start of the season,” Pikus-Pace said. “I’m really excited and I’m looking forward to seeing what the season brings. I feel healthy, strong and fast.”
“This is a great opportunity to compete against the best athletes in the U.S. and having their support,” Pikus-Pace added. “It’s fun cheering each other on and makes the start of the season that much more inspiring.”
Annie O’Shea (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) was again second for the third race in a row. O’Shea clocked a combined time of 1:42.26 after sliding to the finish in 51.06 and 51.20 seconds. O’Shea said she feels strong heading into the season, and is looking forward to competing injury-free.
“I was actually really nervous about today’s race,” O’Shea said. “I haven’t competed well here in so long, and I didn’t know how I was going to feel. I feel like I was able to put it together, and it’s giving me back the confidence I’ve been missing.”
Kimber Gabryszak (Park City, Utah) recovered from disappointing sixth and seventh place finishes in Lake Placid, N.Y. last week by finishing third on her home track today. Gabryszak finished 0.34 seconds behind O’Shea with a total time of 1:42.60.
Megan Henry (Roxbury, Conn.) was fourth with a two-run total of 1:42.99 for a breakthrough performance today. Rachelle Rasmussen (Belmont, Calif.) finished fifth (1:43.26), and Kellie Delka (Denton, Texas) was sixth (1:43.27).
Antoine posted two consistent runs of 49.60 and 49.93 seconds to once again lead the men’s field. The veteran finished 0.24 seconds ahead of teammate John Daly (Smithtown, N.Y.) with a two-run total of 1:39.53.
“I’m in a position where I need to be performing at my best at the beginning of the season,” Antoine said. “It’s the Olympic season, and everyone wants to earn a spot on the World Cup team. I’ve had tunnel vision since the season started, focused not only on making the team, but ultimately making sure I am ready to go when tour starts.”
Daly struggled with his first run and was in fifth position heading into the final heat. The 2010 Olympian threaded together the fastest second run of the competition, a 49.76, to move into second place with an aggregate time of 1:39.77.
“I feel like I’m not sliding my potential right now,” Daly said. “These guys don’t offer any slack, and you have to be on top of your game if you’re going to win. I hope that by the time the season comes around I’ll be sliding better.”
Brad Stewart (Hastings, Minn.), like his wife Gabryszak, rebounded today after unsatisfying results in Lake Placid. Stewart put himself in contention for a national team spot by finishing third with a combined time of 1:40.03.
Kyle Tress (Ewing, N.J.) was fourth (1:40.46), Allen Blackwell (Jacksin, Miss.) finished fifth (1:40.77) and Mike Dellemann (Oregon, Wisc.) was sixth (1:41.13).
Team selection races conclude tomorrow night with the final skeleton competition from 7-9 pm MT. The race can be viewed LIVE on the official USA Bobsled & Skeleton website.
Media interested in attending selection races should contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-354-2250 to request credentials.
1. Noelle Pikus-Pace 1:41.29 (50.54, 50.75); 2. Annie O’Shea 1:42.26 (51.06, 51.20); 3. Kimber Gabryszak 1:42.60 (51.54, 51.06); 4. Megan Henry 1:42.99 (51.27, 51.72); 5. Rachelle Rasmussen 1:43.26 (51.37, 51.89); 6. Kellie Delka 1:43.27 (51.38, 51.89); 7. Savannah Graybill 1:43.33 (51.48, 51.85); 8. Veronca Day 1:43.50 (51.66, 51.84); 9. Gracie Clapp 1:43.51 (51.53, 51.98); 10. Caitlin Carter 1:43.81 (51.79, 52.02); 11. Lauri Bausch 1:44.48 (51.98, 52.50); 12. Samantha Culiver 1:44.60 (52.27, 52.33); 13. Meghan Sullivan 1:44.77 (52.34, 52.43); 14. Sheri Emery 1:45.39 (52.72, 52.67); 15. Lauren Salter 1:45.56 (53.04, 52.52); 16. Kristina Hull 1:46.59 (53.27, 53.32);
1. Matt Antoine 1:39.53 (49.60, 49.93); 2. John Daly 1:39.77 (50.01, 49.76); 3. Brad Stewart 1:40.03 (49.84, 50.19); 4. Kyle Tress 1:40.46 (49.99, 50.47); 5. Allen Blackwell 1:40.77 (50.26, 50.51); 6. Mike Dellemann 1:41.13 (49.92, 51.21); 7. Austin McCrary 1:41.15 (50.38, 50.77); 8. Kevin McGlade 1:41.37 (50.55, 50.82); 9. Tom Santagato 1:41.50 (50.22, 51.28); 10. Trent Kraychir 1:41.54 (50.66, 50.88); 11. Alex Ivanov 1:41.83 (51.04, 50.79); 12. Jake Miter 1:42.89 (51.20, 51.69); 13. Greg West 1:43.27 (51.40, 51.87); 14. Nathan Crumpton 1:43.45 (51.78, 51.67); 15. Ryan Sweeney 1:43.66 (51.79, 51.87); 16. Mike Rogals 1:43.92 (52.05, 51.87); 17. Kyle Brown 1:44.19 (52.11, 52.08);
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.