Uhlaender Claims Gold in Lake Placid, N.Y.
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – Breckenridge’s Katie Uhlaender, who won the 2007 World Cup title, repeated her gold medal performance from last season in the women’s skeleton World Cup event at the Olympic Sports Complex Friday in Lake Placid, N.Y.”Last year I didn’t focus on the title, it just came,” Uhlaender said. “So I’m trying not to think about results, and to just slide and have fun.”Uhlaender entered the competition tied for the track record with 2007 World Champion Noelle Pikus-Pace and Canada’s Michelle Kelly. The fifth competitor in today’s race, Carla Pavan of Canada, threw down a run of 56.27 seconds, breaking the previous record by only three-hundredths of a second despite snowy conditions.”I have never broken a track record before, and I’ve never had a first-place run in a World Cup race before,” Pavan said. “I saw the one next to my time, and I was like, ‘Is there a clock error? Was that really my time?'”Uhlaender went next and tied her previous record of 56.30, placing her only three-hundredths of a second from the lead after the first heat.”I learned how to slide here, so it forces me to go back to the basics,” Uhlaender said. “The first run was not my best run ever. I hit a lot, and I was really surprised when I saw my time when I got to the bottom. I knew I could put it together in the second run.”Uhlaender slid an identical run of 56.30 in the second heat, and watched anxiously as Pavan took her final run in the hunt for gold. Pavan slid to a combined time of 1:53.00 after a second run of 56.73, falling two positions for the bronze.Canadian teammate Michelle Kelly, the current World Cup leader, won silver after runs of 56.38 and 56.59 for a total time of 1:52.97.”I plan on defending my World Cup title, and I’ve already told Kelly I’m coming for her,” Uhlaender said. “She’s tough to beat, so I’m really happy that I was able to walk away with the victory today.”
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