PARK CITY, Utah- U.S. bobsled and skeleton team selection races continued at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah today under cloudy skies. The 2009-2010 World Cup team will be announced following the final competition tomorrow.
Women’s Skeleton Noelle Pikus-Pace (Orem, Utah) was greeted by cheers from an entourage of family and friends as she raced across the finish line with a winning time of 1:43.13 to secure her spot on the World Cup team.
"I do feel relieved," said Pikus-Pace. "It hasn’t really hit me yet, because I still need to think about tomorrow’s race even though I have pretty much secured my spot for the team."
Pikus-Pace convincingly won today’s competition with the two fastest runs, 51.40 and 51.73 seconds, to lead the women’s field by almost one and a half seconds.
Janson, Pikus-Pace’s husband, built her a sled over the summer to help his wife on her Olympic journey. Today was the first day he was able to see Pikus-Pace slide on the sled he spent months creating.
"It’s fun to have it be more about us than just about me," said Pikus-Pace. "It’s always been about us and our dream, but this just makes it more real for him to have built this sled and for it to be running so well."
Courtney Yamada-Anderson (Boise, Idaho) made her bid for the team by finishing second with a combined time of 1:44.62 after sliding runs of 52.18 and 52.44 seconds. Yamada-Anderson posted the fastest start time of the women’s race after powering off the block in 5.03 seconds in today’s final heat.
Rebecca Sorensen (Fort Collins, Colo.) continued her success in team trials, finishing third with a two-run total of 1:44.62. Sorensen slid to the finish in 52.47 and 52.23 seconds to keep herself in the running for the third and final spot on the World Cup team.
Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.) was granted a medical waiver onto the World Cup team and continues her rehabilitation program in preparation for international training in Whistler, British Columbia.
Men’s Skeleton Zach Lund (Salt Lake City, Utah) mustered up the strength to win today’s men’s skeleton competition with a combined time of 1:41.06, despite nursing a strained hamstring.
"I had to push through the pain and it hurt, but I got through the day," said Lund. "These guys are great sliders, and I can’t count on pushing through and still beating them. It’s amazing how close the race was."
Lund slid the fastest run of the first heat, 50.37 seconds, which was enough to keep him in the lead after posting a second run time of 50.69 seconds.
"I still have to come out and do my thing tomorrow," said Lund. "My injury is definitely a distraction, but I have to stay focused."
John Daly (Smithtown, N.Y.) proved he’s a threat for the World Cup team after finishing second today with a combined time of 1:41.17 after crossing the finish line in 50.45 and 50.72 seconds. The young athlete upheld his reputation as one of the fastest starters on the scene by posting a push time of 4.68 seconds in the first heat. Daly has become a force to be reckoned with internationally as well as nationally since beginning the sport in 2001.
Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wisc.) winded down the 15-curved course in 1:41.24 to finish third after sliding runs of 50.56 and 50.68 seconds.
Eric Bernotas (Avondale, Pa.) suffered a small injury during training leading up to the team trials competitions, and was granted a medical waiver onto the 2009-2010 World Cup team.
Women’s Bobsled Erin Pac (Farmington, Conn.) teamed with Michelle Rzepka (Novi, Mich.) to dominate the women’s bobsled competition with a total time of 1:41.79. Pac and Rzpeka powered off the starting block with the fastest push times of the race, 5.22 and 5.26, and maintained their lead down the course with runs of 50.84 and 50.95 seconds, respectively.
"It feels good to get another win under my belt," said Pac. "Things feel like they are finally coming together. Mickie [Rzepka] did awesome today, and I couldn’t have done it without ‘Pinkie.’"
"Pinkie" is Pac’s BoDyn sled, that has pink flames climbing along each side.
U.S. National Champion Bree Schaaf (Bremerton, Wash.) partnered with U.S. National Push Champion Elana Meyers (Douglasville, Ga.) to finish second. The duo clocked times of 50.97 and 51.15 seconds, placing Schaaf in a promising position leading into the final competition tomorrow morning.
In third was Jamia Jackson (Lake City, Fla.) and Valerie Fleming (Park City, Utah) with a two-run total of 1:42.87. Jackson and Fleming crossed the finish line in 51.29 and 51.58 seconds.
Shauna Rohbock (Park City, Utah) was granted a bye onto the team based on her 2008-2009 season results, which included a World Championship silver medal and a World Cup gold medal on the 2010 Olympic course in Whistler.
Men’s Bobsled Todd Hays (Del Rio, Texas) claimed the two-man bobsled victory today, in spite of a mishap at the start in the first heat. Hays’ brakeman, Chuck Berkeley (Clayton, Calif.), slipped after running a few feet, and was unable to regain his balance to get into the sled.
"It was a lonely trip," said Hays with a laugh.
Hays was allowed to take an additional run based on the criteria, which states that a third run may be granted by the jury.
"This is a great track for me," said Hays, who won the 2002 Olympic silver medal on this course. "Luckily the mishap happened on a track I’m very familiar with."
Hays and Berkeley were able to regain their composure to dominate the competition with the fastest finish times of the competition. The duo pushed times of 4.95 and 4.94 for runs of 49.65 and 49.54 seconds, respectively, for a combined time of 1:39.19.
"I’ve been sliding for 16 years, so I’ve seen almost everything," said Hays. "Although this is my first third heat."
In second with a two-run total of 1:39.81 was 22-year-old John Napier (Lake Placid, N.Y.) and push athlete Jamie Moriarty (Winnetka, Ill.). Napier and Moriarty combined forces for starts of 4.97 and 5.01 and runs of 49.72 and 50.09, respectively.
Mike Kohn (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) teamed with Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.) to finish third with a combined time of 1:40.00 after sliding runs of 49.79 and 50.21 seconds.
Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) was named to the 2009-2010 World Cup team based on his last season’s results, which include the four-man World Championship crown and the two-man World Championship bronze medal.
For additional information please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at or (518) 523-1842, ext. 106. Results: Women’s Skeleton 1. Noelle Pikus-Pace 1:43.13 (51.40, 51.73); 2. Courtney Yamada-Anderson 1:44.62 (52.18, 52.44); 3. Rebecca Soresen 1:44.70 (52.47, 52.23); 4. Kimber Gabryszak 1:44.90 (52.43, 52.47); 5. Annie O’Shea 1:44.99 (52.22, 52.77); 6. Keslie Tomlinson 1:45.26 (52.52, 52.74); 7. Rachelle Rasmussen 1:45.61 (52.70, 52.91); 8. Joy Bryant 1:46.50 (53.20, 53.30); 9. Tracey Anderson 1:46.58 (53.41, 53.17); 10. Cassie Revelli 1:47.37 (53.62, 53.75); 11. Sabrina Hiteshew-Wilson 1:48.27 (53.99, 54.28);
Men’s Skeleton 1. Zach Lund 1:41.06 (51.30, 50.69); 2. John Daly 1: 41.17 (50.45, 50.72); 3. Matt Antoine 1:41.24 (50.56, 50.68); 4. Caleb Smith 1:41.55 (50.70, 50.85); 5. Stokes Aitken 1:41.58 (50.75, 50.83); 6. Kyle Tress 1:42.33 (50.95, 51.38); 7. Luke Schulz 1:42.68 (51.30, 51.38); 8. Nick Vienneau 1:42.73 (51.25, 51.48); 9. Brad Stewart 1:42.74 (51.20, 51.54); 10. Chris Burgess 1:43.22 (51.23, 51.99); 11. Matt Griff 1:43.46 (51.40, 52.06); 12. Chris Nurre 1:45.18 (52.68, 52.50);
Women’s Bobsled 1. Erin Pac and Michelle Rzpeka 1:41.79 (50.84, 50.95); 2. Bree Schaaf and Elana Meyers 1:42.12 (50.97, 51.15); 3. Jamia Jackson and Valerie Fleming 1:42.87 (51.29, 51.58);
Men’s Bobsled (Two-man) 1. Todd Hays and Chuck Berkeley 1:39.19 (49.65, 49.54); 2. John Napier and Jamie Moriarty 1:39.81 (49.72, 50.09); 3. Mike Kohn and Nick Cunningham 1:40.00 (49.79, 50.21); 4. Grayson Fertig and Laszlo Vandrascek 1:41.37 (50.52, 50.85); 5. Mike Bradley and Casey Strickland 1:42.08 (50.92, 51.16); 6. Chase DeHan and Caleb Campbell 1:42.60 (51.46, 51.14);
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, Under Armour, Vilter Manufacturing, 776 Original Marketing, KBC Helmets, Luminox Watch Company, EDAS/Ripxx 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 at