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Pikus-Pace and Daly complete sweep of selection races
PARK CITY, Utah (Nov. 1, 2012)- Noelle Pikus-Pace (Orem, Utah) and John Daly (Smithtown, N.Y.) once again won their respective races at the Utah Olympic Park tonight to sweep the skeleton national team selection races. With four wins in four races, Pikus-Pace and Daly are strong contenders for the national team.
“I didn’t know what to expect going into this season because it’s been so long since I’ve competed,” said Pikus-Pace, who is making a comeback since her retirement following the 2010 Vancouver Games. “Once I got on the sled for the first time in Lake Placid a couple weeks ago it all clicked again. I knew then it was going to be a good season, and it’s actually starting out to be a great season.”
Pikus-Pace led the women’s field in the first heat by posting the fastest start and finish times of 5.15 and 50.86 seconds, respectively. The returning champion lost her stride off the start in the final heat, but gained speed down the course to conclude the selection races in dominant style with a total time of 1:41.99.
“I am really excited about our current coaching staff,” Pikus-Pace said. “We’re on the sleds by ourselves, but this really is a team sport. The goal is to have the best athletes and the most number of athletes competing at the highest level, and that’s what the coaches are trying to do. I’m looking forward to helping the team earn back the third sled on tour and can’t wait for the next race.”
Kimber Gabryszak (Park City, Utah) shrunk the gap between Pikus-Pace and the field to 0.52 seconds tonight. Gabryszak had smooth starts and clocked a total time of 1:42.51 for second place.
Savannah Graybill (Denver, Pa.) trailed Gabryszak by 0.70 seconds for third place. Rachelle Rasmussen (Belmont, Calif.) threaded together two consistent runs for a combined time of 1:44.24 to take fourth, while Meghan Sullivan (Bluemont, Va.) and Samantha Culiver (Scottsdale, Ariz.) repeated yesterday’s performances for fifth and sixth place.
Daly posted a two-run total of 1:39.06 to lead the men’s race by 0.79 seconds. The 2010 Olympian clocked starts of 4.70 and 4.68 seconds and navigated to the finish with consistent finishes of 49.51 and 49.55 seconds.
“Today was a really good day,” Daly said. “I’m trying to stay focused while still having fun, and everything is lining up for me this year. We have the best coaches, our sleds are coming around, and we have all the tools we need to be successful. I’m really excited to start the international competitive season now.”
Kyle Tress (Ewing, N.J.) squeaked ahead of Brad Stewart (Hastings, Minn.) by just 0.03 seconds to finish as tonight’s runner-up with a total time of 1:39.85.
Allen Blackwell (Jackson, Miss.) moved up a position from yesterday into fourth with a two-run total of 1:40.56. Mike Dellemann (Oregon, Wisc.) was 1.68 seconds off the pace in fifth, and Austin McCrary (Colleyville, Texas) cracked into the top six with a combined time of 1:40.79.
Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.) and Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wisc.) have already earned a position on the World Cup team based on their performances last season. The remaining seven athletes to join the national team will be announced later tonight after the selection committee meets to review results.
Please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-354-2250 with media inquiries.
1. Noelle Pikus-Pace 1:41.99 (50.86, 51.13); 2. Kimber Gabryszak 1:42.51 (51.17, 51.34); 3. Savannah Graybill 1:43.21 (51.58, 51.63); 4. Rachelle Rasmussen 1:44.24 (52.11, 52.13); 5. Meghan Sullivan 1:44.48 (52.32, 52.16); 6. Samantha Culiver 1:44.73 (52.59, 52.14); 7. Blair Tomten 1:44.93 (52.20, 52.73); 8. Caitlin Carter 1:45.33 (52.85, 52.48); 9. Sherri Emery 1:45.55 (52.70, 52.85); 10. Lauren Salter 1:45.58 (52.64, 52.94); 10. Corinne Dipietro 1:45.58 (52.82, 52.76); 12. Morgan Tracey 1:45.88 (52.47, 53.41); 13. Gracie Clapp 1:46.00 (52.85, 53.15); 14. Veronica Day 1:46.43 (52.80, 53.63); 15. Kristina Hull 1:46.88 (52.86, 54.02);
1. John Daly 1:39.06 (49.51, 49.55); 2. Kyle Tress 1:39.85 (50.00, 49.85); 3. Brad Stewart 1:39.88 (50.09, 49.79); 4. Allen Blackwell 1:40.56 (50.31, 50.25); 5. Mike Dellemann 1:40.74 (50.54, 50.20); 6. Austin McCrary 1:40.79 (50.61, 50.18); 7. Ryan Sweeney 1:41.76 (51.05, 50.71); 8. Greg West 1:41.92 (51.17, 50.75); 9. Tom Santagato 1:42.42 (51.07, 51.35); 10. Derek Pirtle 1:42.49 (51.18, 51.31); 11. Kevin McGlade 1:42.65 (51.18, 51.47); 12. Mitch Danbe 1:42.72 (51.42, 51.30); 13. Patrick Calder 1:42.74 (51.65, 51.09); 14. Gary Wozniak 1:42.86 (51.53, 51.33); 15. Alex Ivanov 1:42.97 (51.67, 51.30); 16. Nathan Crumpton 1:43.85 (52.14, 51.71); 17. Nick Rettenmyer 1:44.33 (52.33, 52.00); 18. Chase Seamans 1:44.95 (52.99, 51.96);
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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, Under Armour, United States National Guard, Kampgrounds of America, Vivat!, Global Forwarding, KBC Helmets, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Autism Speaks, Park City Lodging, EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.