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Uhlaender leads Americans in eighth in Altenberg World Cup
ALTENBERG, Germany (December 3, 2021) –Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.) was the top American in eighth place in this morning’s women’s skeleton World Cup race in Altenberg. Uhlaender temporarily held the track record after a speedy second run. Kelly Curtis (Princeton, N.J.) placed 13th in her fourth career World Cup entry, and Megan Henry (Roxbury, Conn.) finished 20th.
“My biggest struggle this season has been to not think about competing and winning, but to enjoy where I am,” Uhlaender said. “I reached out to some old sliders like Chris Soule and they could see I was tight on my sled. He told me to slide for him and for anyone that wants to be out here where I am but can’t be. I want to enjoy every run of my last season. When I sink into my sled and enjoy the speed, the time happens to be there.”
Uhlaender pushed her sled off the block for a start time of 5.68 seconds, 14th of the field, and drove herself to the finish in 58.18 seconds to tie Valentina Margaglio from Italy for ninth position. She bettered her start to a 5.67 in the final and momentarily held the track record with a downtime of 57.74 seconds. The former record of 57.77 seconds was set by German Tina Hermann in February 2020. Four-time Olympian Uhlaender finished eighth with a total time of 1:55.92.
The record was broken five more times and Hermann reclaimed her title as the fastest women’s skeleton athlete in Altenberg with a time of 57.52 seconds in the final run. She won the competition with a total time of 1:55.36. Alina Tararychenkova from Russia claimed silver in 1:55.67, followed by Austria’s Janine Flock in third with a 1:55.73.
“There is such a great dynamic and great support with all of the women on tour,” Uhlaender said. “It’s been wicked fun, and I feel really blessed to be here.”
Curtis was consistent off the start with push times of 5.69 and 5.70 seconds. She raced to the finish without any major trouble for runs of 58.50 and 58.42 seconds, respectively. Curtis, a member of the U.S. Air Force, finished 13th with a combined time of 1:56.92.
Henry clocked the 12th fastest start time of 5.66 seconds for a downtime of 59.23 seconds to finish 21st. She was 0.07 seconds away from qualifying for the top-20 cutoff for the second heat. Henry did gain one spot after an athlete crashed in the second heat. Henry herself crashed in the exit of the Kreisel corner in the first training run this week, and had only two days of training as a result.
The men’s skeleton competition is up next at 2:30 p.m. local time. Streaming will be available via desktop at olympics.com/en/live/, and via mobile, tablet and connected television platforms on the Olympic Channel app. Check local listings for broadcast times on the Olympic Channel and OlympicChannel.com.
For media inquiries, please contact USABS Marketing and Communications Director Amanda Bird at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Tina Hermann (GER) 1:55.36 (57.84, 57.52);
2. Alina Tararychenkova (RUS) 1:55.67 (58.05, 57.62);
3. Janine Flock (AUT) 1:55.73 (58.12, 57.61);
8. Katie Uhlaender (USA) 1:55.92 (58.18, 57.74):
13. Kelly Curtis (USA) 1:56.92 (58.50, 58.42);
20. Megan Henry (USA) (59.23, DNS);
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USA Bobsled/Skeleton (USABS), based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com. Individuals interested in becoming a bobsled or skeleton athlete can visit www.usabobsledskeleton.com.