Winter Sports

Pikus-Pace and Uhlaender in medal contention after day one of women’s skeleton World Championship racing

Pikus-Pace and Uhlaender in medal contention after day one of women’s skeleton World Championship racing

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (Jan. 31, 2013)- Women’s skeleton competitors Noelle Pikus-Pace (Orem, Utah) and Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.) are in the medal hunt after the first day of World Championship racing in St. Moritz.  Pikus-Pace is seated comfortably in second place, and Uhlaender is within striking distance of the medals in seventh.  The winner will be declared tomorrow after the fourth and final heat.

“I feel good about where I’m sitting and hopefully I can come back tomorrow with two better runs,” Pikus-Pace said.  “I made some mistakes that I don’t usually make and I’m not very happy with today’s runs.  I felt sluggish and I just wasn’t my best, and I feel like there’s more in the bag.”

Pikus-Pace started her bid for the medals with a first run of 1:09.99 to nestle her between British athletes Shelley Rudman and Elizabeth Yarnold.  Rudman had a distant lead of nearly half a second, while Pikus-Pace was 0.16 seconds ahead of Yarnold for silver medal position.  Defending champion Uhlaender was 0.17 seconds from Yarnold in fourth with a run of 1:10.32.

Rudman distanced herself from the field even more in the second heat by posting a run of 1:09.49 for a two-run combined time of 2:19.03.  Pikus-Pace had another smooth run, but was unable to catch the British Olympic medalist.  The American crossed the finish line in 2:20.03 to finish one second off the pace, but was still 0.15 seconds ahead of Yarnold for second position.  “Hopefully I can get some good sleep tonight and come back feeling refreshed tomorrow,” Pikus-Pace said.  “I’ve always liked the four heat format, and I’m looking forward to getting closer to the lead, if not moving up.”

Uhlaender threaded together a tidy second run, but a competitive field of athletes hungry for the podium bettered their runs to bump Uhlaender into seventh.  Uhlaender’s two-run total of 2:20.58 is 0.40 seconds from Yarnold in third.  With two runs to go in tomorrow’s final heats, Pikus-Pace and Uhlaender have the ability to gain on their competitors.

“I know I can do better,” Pikus-Pace said. “Tomorrow should be exciting.”

The winner will be declared after the final two runs tomorrow at 9 am local time.

Results (Heat 1 & 2)

1. Shelley Rudman (GBR) 2:19.03 (1:09.54, 1:09.49); 2. Noelle Pikus-Pace (USA) 2:20.03 (1:09.99, 1:10.04); 3. Elizabeth Yarnold (GBR) 2:20.18 (1:10.15, 1:10.03);…7. Katie Uhlaender (USA) 2:20.58 (1:10.32, 1:10.26);

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Women’s Bobsled/Skelton World Championship racing resumes in St. Moritz as Pikus-Pace & Uhlaender look to make history

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (Jan. 30, 2013)-The U.S. team collected two medals to celebrate the first weekend of 2013 World Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland.  Women’s bobsledders Elana Meyers and Katie Eberling set the pace for the event by earning silver, and competitors in bobsled and skeleton combined forces to win the 2013 World Championship title in the team event.

The detailed schedule is as follows, with all times listed in local time and ET in parentheses:

Thursday, Jan. 31

9 a.m. (3 a.m.)-Women’s skeleton race heat #1
10:45 a.m. (4:45 a.m.) -Women’s skeleton race heat #2

Friday, Feb. 1

9 a.m. (3 a.m.) – Women’s skeleton race heat #3

10:45 p.m. (4:45 a.m.) – Women’s skeleton race heat #4

1 p.m. (7 a.m.) -Men’s skeleton race heat #1

2:45 p.m. (8:45 a.m.) -Men’s skeleton race heat #2

Saturday, Feb. 2

8:45 a.m.  (2:45 a.m.)- Men’s four-man bobsled heat #1

10:45 a.m. (4:30 a.m.)- Men’s four-man bobsled race heat #2

1:15 p.m. (7:15 a.m.)- Men’s skeleton race heat #3

3 p.m. (9 a.m.)- Men’s skeleton race heat #4

Sunday, Feb. 3

10 a.m. (4 a.m.)- Men’s four-man bobsled race heat #3

11:45 a.m. (5:45 a.m.)-Men’s four-man bobsled race heat #4

Noelle Pikus-Pace (Orem, Utah) dominated the women’s skeleton heat in the team event to catapult the squad into the lead.  Pikus-Pace’s time was 0.84 seconds faster than any other women’s skeleton competitor in the event, which bodes well for the American in this upcoming weekend’s race for the title.  Pikus-Pace was the first U.S. women’s skeleton athlete to ever claim the World Championship title six years ago, and she did so by the largest margin in women’s skeleton history.  Her record-breaking runs were on the natural made St. Moritz track in 2007, and Pikus-Pace hopes to make history again as the first U.S. women’s skeleton racer to earn two World Championship titles.

Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.) will challenge her teammate for the historic rights as the first American woman to earn two World Championship titles.  Uhlaender has two World Cup titles and has competed in two Olympics, but had yet to win a World Championship title until last year.  She raced a gold medal performance in Lake Placid, N.Y., and is a favorite heading into this weekend as the defending champion.  Uhlaender joined Pikus-Pace on the podium in 2007 as the bronze medalist, and has historically done well on the St. Moritz course.  If Uhlaender wins, she’ll be the most decorated women’s skeleton athlete in World Championship history.

Universal Sports will be broadcasting the events same day delay with several re-airs for each competition to make sure you don’t miss the action.  The schedule is as follows, with all times listed in ET.

Friday, Feb. 1

1-2 p.m. -Women’s skeleton

6-7 p.m. -Women’s skeleton (re-air)

9-10 p.m.-Women’s skeleton (re-air)

Saturday, Feb. 2

12-1 a.m. -Women’s skeleton (re-air)

9-10 a.m. -Women’s skeleton (re-air)

1-2 pm. -Men’s skeleton

10:30-11:30 p.m. -Men’s skeleton (re-air)

Sunday, Feb. 3

4-5 a.m. -Men’s skeleton (re-air)

9-10 a.m. -Men’s skeleton (re-air)

1-2 p.m. -Men’s four-man bobsled

9-10 p.m. -Men’s four-man bobsled (re-air)

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