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Uhlaender temporarily holds track record, finishes fifth in women’s skeleton World Cup
Katie Uhlaender during a training run in Winterberg.
Photo credit: IBSF / Viesturs Lacis
WINTERBERG, Germany (December 10, 2021) – Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.) narrowly missed the podium in this morning’s women’s skeleton World Cup race, finishing one-tenth of a second from the medals in fifth. Kelly Curtis (Princeton, N.J.) placed 10th in her first World Cup race in Winterberg, followed by Megan Henry (Roxbury, Conn.) in 11th.
“I’m focusing on enjoying what I love in the sport,” Uhlaender said. “I have to focus on chasing speed, not the clock. When I do that I’m giggling at the bottom and the time happens to be there.”
Uhlaender clocked a start time of 5.34 seconds, 13th of the field, and temporarily set a new track record of 57.10 seconds. Austrian Janine Flock matched her time, and the two were tied for fourth. Uhlaender’s start time was her personal best on the Winterberg track.
“I outpushed my 22-year-old self, which is a huge accomplishment for me,” Uhlaender said. “I also had my personal best finish time here, which happened to be a track record.”
The former track record of 57.28 was set by Sarah Wimmer of Germany in November 2020. Three athletes went on to break the record again in the first heat. Canadian Mirela Rahneva posted a 57.80, followed by German Tina Hermann with a 57.02. Kimberly Bos from the Netherlands clocked a 56.98 to lead after the first run.
Bos obliterated the track record in the second heat with a downtime of 56.70 seconds to secure the gold medal with a combined time of 1:53.68. Hermann finished second with a total time of 1:53.93, and Rahneva secured bronze with a two-run total of 1:53.97. German Jacqueline Loelling had the third fastest run of the second heat to move up, and Uhlaender finished fifth as a result with a total time of 1:54.07.
“I’m just chipping away and my goal is to improve each week,” Uhlaender said. “I have great support from our coaches and the team, and I’m excited to head back to Altenberg (Germany).”
Russian Elena Nikitina was in 14th after the first heat, but she posted the second fastest run of the second heat to finish sixth. She broke her own former start record of 5.12 seconds from December 2017 with a push of 5.07 seconds.
Curtis finished 10th in her first World Cup race in Winterberg with a combined time of 1:54.40. The World Class Athlete Program Airman posted consistent start times of 5.37 and 5.38 seconds. She raced to the finish in 57.32 seconds in the first heat, and bettered her time to 57.08 seconds in the final run to cap an impressive performance.
Henry, a member of the Army’s World Class Athlete Program, finished just behind her teammate in 11th with a total time of 1:54.46. Henry clocked start times of 5.32 and 5.34 seconds for downtimes of 57.41 and 57.05 seconds, respectively.
The Winterberg World Cup will resume tomorrow with the first four-man bobsled race at 10 a.m., and the women’s monobob competition at 2:30 p.m. 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. Kimberly Bos (NED) 1:53.68 (56.98, 56.70);
2. Tina Hermann (GER) 1:53.93 (57.02, 56.91);
3. Marela Rahneva (CAN) 1:53.97 (57.08, 56.89);
5. Katie Uhlaender (USA) 1:54.07 (57.10, 56,97);
10. Kelly Curtis (USA) 1:54.40 (57.32, 57.08);
11. Megan Henry (USA) 1:54.46 (57.41, 57.05);
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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.