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Katie Uhlaender Returns To Skeleton World Cup Team For First Time In Nearly 3 Years

By Associated Press | Nov. 03, 2016, 4:47 p.m. (ET)

Katie Uhlaender completes her third run during the 2016 IBSF World Championships at Olympic Sliding Centre on Feb. 20, 2016 in Innsbruck, Austria.

Katie Uhlaender is headed back to World Cup skeleton racing for the first time in nearly three years.

The three-time Olympian was formally named to this season's U.S. national team on Thursday, after winning two of the four races in the team trials. Uhlaender earned one of two available spots on the women's World Cup team, with Kendall Wesenberg also being selected to join pre-qualified Annie O'Shea on the squad.

"I have my sights on the World Cup," Uhlaender said after the selection races ended in Park City, Utah. "My goal has been to progress each week and not focus on things I can't control, but focus on mistakes I can improve on and each week get a little bit better. I still have a long ways to go."

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Uhlaender's last World Cup race was Jan. 24, 2014. This season's schedule starts on the 2010 Olympic track in Whistler, Canada, on Dec. 2, then heads to Lake Placid, New York, two weeks later.

"My feeling on the sled is coming back," said Uhlaender, who was fourth at the 2014 Sochi Games and has needed 10 surgeries -- plus battled concussions -- throughout her injury-plagued career.

O'Shea was fourth in the World Cup standings last season, good enough to lock her into a spot on this team without the pressure of having to qualify in the trials at Park City and Lake Placid. She won a World Cup in Lake Placid and was second in Whistler last season.

Reigning Olympic bronze medalist Matt Antoine won all four trials races to easily snag a spot on the men's World Cup team for the U.S., to be joined by Nathan Crumpton and Kyle Tress. Antoine was sixth in last year's World Cup standings.

"Trials is a good way to start the season; it gets you into the racing mindset so when you go into the first World Cup race, you're not going through those first race jitters," Antoine said. "It gets you set into a groove so you're ready when the tour starts."

Crumpton had two top-10 finishes in six World Cup starts last season, and Tress -- a 2014 Olympian -- is returning to sliding after taking last season off.

The U.S. also picked its teams for the Intercontinental Cup season, with Greg West, Stephen Garbett and Kyle Brown to represent the men and Savannah Graybill, Megan Henry and Veronica Day on the women's team. The ICC tour, one step below the World Cup level, has races in Austria, Germany, Canada and Lake Placid this season.

The U.S. World Cup bobsled team will be announced Friday, also in Park City.

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Katie Uhlaender

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