Pikus-Pace claims silver in the first women's skeleton World Cup race of 2014
Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director
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Pikus-Pace claims silver in the first women’s skeleton World Cup race of 2014
WINTERBERG, Germany (Jan. 4, 2014)- Noelle Pikus-Pace (Orem, Utah) claimed silver in the first women’s skeleton World Cup race of 2014 today. Pikus-Pace was tied for the lead after the first run, but a mistake in corner 13 kept her from taking over gold in the final heat.
“I was a little cloudy coming back to training after the holiday break and had some trouble getting back into it,” Pikus-Pace said. “It really is a relief to have a podium finish to get second half started. Second half feels different than first half, it always has. I know I have to rejuvenate and I have to start second half with a fresh perspective as if it’s a new season.”
Pikus-Pace pushed a personal best start time of 5.51 seconds, 0.07 seconds faster than her previous best, and displayed faster split times than anyone else in the competition as she navigated her way down the Winterberg track. She clocked a finish time of 58.94 seconds, identical to British athlete Elizabeth Yarnold’s run.
Pikus-Pace posted a second start time of 5.56 and was picking up speed until corner 13. She struggled through the transition to 14 and her combined time of 1:58.10 was 0.57 seconds shy from claiming gold. Yarnold held onto her lead with a two-run total of 1:57.53, and Pikus-Pace finished second. Canadian Sarah Reid was third with a combined time of 1:58.49.
“It feels good knowing I had more in me,” Pikus-Pace. “I had some trouble that definitely cost me time today, so I’m a little disappointed, but I’m still happy to have a silver medal.”
Pikus-Pace earned her first World Cup victory during a 2004 race in Winterberg, which was the launching point for her career. She went on to become the first U.S. female skeleton athlete to win a World Cup title after collecting five medals that season.
“This track is where it all began for me,” Pikus-Pace said. “A little switch flipped and I knew I had the potential to be the best in the world. This was where I realized I could be a top competitor and that I was equal to other athletes. I didn’t need to look up to anyone else anymore and it was an even playing field.”
Annie O’Shea (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) finished 16th in her first World Cup appearance this season. O’Shea was consistent from start to finish with push times of 5.46 and 5.49 and runs of 59.84 and 59.93 seconds, respectively.
Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.) opted not to race this week and will rejoin the World Cup circuit next week in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
The Winterberg World Cup concludes tomorrow with women’s bobsled at 9 a.m. local time and a second four-man bobsled race at 12:30 p.m.
Please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at email@example.com or 518-354-2250 with media inquiries.
1. Elizabeth Yarnold (GBR) 1:57.53 (58.94, 58.59); 2. Noelle Pikus-Pace (USA) 1:58.10 (58.94, 59.16); 3. Sarah Reid (CAN) 1:58.49 (59.27, 59.22);…16. Annie O’Shea (USA) 1:59.77 (59.84, 59.93);
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