Solid start for U.S. skeleton team

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (Nov. 9, 2012)- The women’s and men’s skeleton World Cup finals took place between bobsled heats at Mount Van Hoevenberg today, and the U.S. team had a strong showing that included several personal best finishes.

 John Daly (Smithtown, N.Y.) and Kyle Tress (Ewing, N.J.) posted their personal best finishes after finishing fourth and fifth in the men’s skeleton event, and Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wisc.) placed 10th. Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.) was the sole U.S. woman in the final and clocked the fastest run of the day to inch up into fifth place.

Daly achieved his goal of staying consistent by posting a third run of 54.23 seconds to maintain his fourth place position with a three-run total of 2:42.96. This is the closest Daly has been to the World Cup medal stand.

“I was happy with a top ten yesterday and wanted to build from there, and staying in fourth place is a great,” Daly said. “A win would be the best, but this is right where I want to be. It’s my first time ever on the podium in Lake Placid. I don’t know how that took so long, and I finally got that monkey off my back I guess.”

The Dukurs brothers from Latvia continued their sibling rivalry on the ice and finished 1-2 today. Martins Dukurs clocked a combined time of 2:41.48 to lead over Tomass Dukurs by just 0.08 seconds. Alexander Tretiakov, the “Russian Rocket,” dropped into third with a total time of 2:41.65.

Tress clocked the fourth fastest run today to move into fifth position with a combined time of 2:43.30. Tress’ best World Cup finish to date was eighth in St. Moritz, Switzerland last season.

“It feels fantastic,” Tress said. “To get out here and build momentum, I have some confidence to go into next week. It feels great.”

Despite a tree crashing through the roof of their home during Hurricane Sandy, Tress’ family made the trek to Lake Placid to cheer on their son.

“They are here now, supporting me, and even come to races in Europe when they can,” Tress said. “That support is the best thing in the world.”

Antoine struggled on the lower portion of the course and was disappointed to slip one position into 10th with a combined time of 2:44.42.

“My goal for first half was to be in top ten, so just to be here today was an achievement for me,” Antoine said. “Anything that happened today was kind of extra in my mind, but obviously it’s a little disappointing to have that run. But keeping the big picture in mind, I’m happy with the overall result of this race.”

Reigning World Champion Uhlaender was hungry to recover from her upsetting first run yesterday and made a bid for the medals with the fastest run of the day. Despite posting a time of 55.79 seconds, Uhlaender could only move up into fifth position with a combined time of 2:48.21.

“I could have used a little bit more,” Uhlaender said. “I’m disappointed. I don’t know why, but yesterday didn’t feel like World Cup had started yet. This three-heat format has thrown me off a bit I think. But, I showed up today with my best.”

The first World Cup event of the season will conclude tomorrow with the four-man bobsled race at 9 a.m. Please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at abird@usbsf.com or 518-354-2250 with media inquiries.

Results:

Men’s Skeleton

1. Martins Dukurs (LAT) 2:41.48 (53.69, 54.02, 53.77); 2. Tomass Dukurs (LAT) 2:41.56 (53.84, 53.93, 53.79); 3. Alexander Tretiakov (RUS) 2:41.65 (53.91, 53.81, 53.93); 4. John Daly (USA) 2:42.96 (54.39, 54.34, 54.23); 5. Kyle Tress (USA) 2:43.30 (54.62, 54.53, 54.15);…10. Matt Antoine (USA) 2:44.42 (54.89, 54.61, 54.92);

Women’s Skeleton

1.Sarah Reid (CAN) 2:47.70 (55.84, 55.88, 55.98); 2. Mellisa Hollingsworth (CAN) 2:47.73 (55.85, 55.89, 55.99); 3. Marion Thees (GER) 2: 47.83 (55.97, 56.05, 55.81);…5. Katie Uhlaender (USA) 2:48.21 (56.53, 55.89, 55.79);

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