Pikus-Pace and Daly win second skeleton trials race
Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director
(518) 354-2250, email@example.com
Pikus-Pace and Daly win second skeleton trials race
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (Oct. 24, 2012)- Noelle Pikus-Pace (Orem, Utah) and John Daly (Smithtown, N.Y.) extended their lead by dominating the second of four skeleton team selection races in Lake Placid, N.Y. this morning.
“[The feeling for sliding] is coming back and it’s clicking,” Pikus-Pace said. “Even in the 2009-10 season I didn’t feel like it was clicking like this. I feel like it’s been since before I got hit by the bobsled that it’s felt this good, and I feel like I’m back in form. I really enjoy it. I really love sliding again.”
Pikus-Pace was a favorite going into the 2006 Torino Games, but she was struck by a bobsled that fractured her leg and prevented her from racing for the majority of that season. She came back to win the 2007 World Championship title, and finished fourth at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver before announcing her retirement. After taking a few runs for fun in Park City, Utah last season, Pikus-Pace decided to make a comeback.
She clocked blistering runs of 55.86 and 55.76 seconds for a combined time of 1:51.62 to lead the women’s race by an astounding 1.91 seconds. Pikus-Pace said her runs were the fastest of her career on the Lake Placid course.
“I feel like it makes all the difference in the world having my family here and seeing them at the start,” Pikus-Pace said when asked what her secret was to sliding so fast. “That’s just how I compete well. I do well when I have those I love around.”
Kimber Gabryszak (Park City, Utah) maintained her second place position with a total time of 1:53.53. The veteran is looking forward to sliding in Park City later this week, which is her home track.
“I’m really happy to have the two Lake Placid races done and to have slid so well here,” Gabryszak said. “I’ve never really gelled with the Lake Placid track, especially early in the season. So to start out on a good note, it gives me a lot of confidence going into the season.”
Annie O’Shea (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) continues her battle back from knee surgery 10 weeks ago and nabbed third place today with a combined time of 1:53.95. O’Shea said she relied on her experience down the track to make up for her hindered start times.
Savannah Graybill (Denver, Pa.) trailed O’Shea by just 0.02 seconds for fourth today. Rachelle Rasmussen (Belmont, Calif.) and Lauren Salter (Idyllwild, Calif.) are in the running for a national team spot after finishing fifth and sixth, respectively.
“I was definitely feeling nervous,” Gabryszak said. “There’s a great group of girls and it’s an intimidating group of girls competing here. They are so fast and so strong. I just feel very happy to have been able to do well at these races.”
Daly made a statement by posting the two fastest runs in the men’s race, 54.26 and 54.19 seconds, to win his second consecutive selection race with a combined time of 1:48.45. The field inched closer to Daly, giving him a lead of only 0.51 seconds today.
“It’s really nice to come out with a win against such a strong field,” Daly said. “All of these guys are doing really well. [The new athletes] push us all of the time because they are getting really good really fast. It’s kind of nerve-racking. You have to stay on your game as much as they do.”
Kyle Tress (Ewing, N.J.) had a mishap at the start in yesterday’s first run, but he threaded together two seamless runs to close in on Daly with a two-run total of 1:48.96.
“I wanted to end the races in Lake Placid really strong,” Tress said. “It’s my favorite track in the world and my home track, so I knew I was capable of having two consistent runs.”
Daly and Tress began the sport at the same time, and have both commented about how the friendship helps push each other to get better.
“I love competing against John; he makes me better,” Tress said. “We grew up together in the sport, and I couldn’t be more happy to have teammates like Matt and John to help push me.”
Mike Dellemann (Oregon, Wisc.) improved his performance from yesterday to nab third today with a total time of 1:50.07. Greg West (Orange Beach, Ala.) finished fourth, followed by Austin McCrary (Colleyville, Texas) and Tom Santagato (Astoria, N.Y.) in fifth and sixth, respectively.
Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.) and Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wisc.) earned a bye onto the team based on their performances last season, leaving one women’s and two men’s spots on the World Cup squad up for grabs.
Racing continues tonight with the men’s four-man bobsled and women’s bobsled final selection race. The skeleton team will continue their selection races in Park City, Utah on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. Watch athlete reactions and interviews by visiting www.usbsf.com.
Please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-354-2250 with media inquiries.
1. Noelle Pikus-Pace 1:51.62 (55.86, 55.76); 2. Kimber Gabryszak 1:53.53 (56.82, 56.71); 3. Annie O’Shea 1:53.95 (57.01, 56.94); 4. Savannah Graybill 1:53.97 (56.96, 57.01); 5. Rachelle Rasmussen 1:54.14 (57.18, 56.96); 6. Lauren Salter 1:54.27 (57.08, 57.19); 7. Samantha Culiver 1:54.60 (57.21, 57.39); 8. Meghan Sullivan 1:54.92 (57.17, 57.75); 9. Morgan Tracey 1:54.94 (57.49, 57.45); 10. Veronica Day 1:54.97 (57.65, 57.32); 11. Sherrie Emery 1:55.23 (57.93, 57.30); 12. Blair Tomten 1:56.04 (58.20, 57.84); 13. Kristina Hull 1:56.07 (58.28, 57.79); 14. Corinne Dipietro 1:56.25 (58.14, 58.11); 15. Caitlin Carter 1:56.83 (58.13, 58.70); 16. Gracie Clapp (58.36, DNF);
1. John Daly 1:48.45 (54.26, 54.19); 2. Kyle Tress 1:48.96 (54.53, 54.43); 3. Mike Dellemann 1:50.07 (54.90, 55.17); 4. Greg West 1:50.23 (55.08, 55.15); 5. Austin McCrary 1:50.83 (55.16, 55.67); 6. Tom Santagato 1:50.89 (55.23, 55.66); 7. Brad Stewart 1:51.10 (55.41, 55.69); 8. Allen Blackwell 1:51.15 (55.74, 55.41); 9. Derek Pirtle 1:51.40 (55.71, 55.69); 10. Nathan Crumpton 1:51.64 (55.77, 55.87); 11. Alex Ivanov 1:52.32 (56.11, 56.21); 12. Kevin McGlade 1:52.53 (56.40, 56.13); 13. Ryan Sweeney 1:52.72 (56.52, 56.20); 14. Chase Seamans 1:52.86 (56.55, 56.31); 15. Pat Calder 1:53.13 (56.40, 56.73); 16. Mitch Danbe 1:53.39 (56.80, 56.59); 17. Nick Rettenmyer 1:53.87 (56.64, 57.23); 18. Gary Wozniak 1:54.62 (57.85, 56.77);
About the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation
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.