Uhlaender claims silver medal at World Cup event
PARK CITY, Utah – Katie Uhlaender is on her way to defending her 2007 World Cup title.The Breckenridge native claiming the silver medal at the women’s skeleton World Cup competition at the Utah Olympic Park Thursday in Park City, Utah. Teammates Courtney Yamada, of Boise, Idaho, and Annie O’Shea, of Port Jefferson Station, N.Y., also had a strong showing, both finishing in the top ten.”I’m getting back into the feeling of sliding every day,” Uhlaender said. “It’s like relaxed chaos – the only thing that can calm you down is experience and repetition.”Uhlaender pushed a 5.08 seconds, finishing the first run in 50.34, 0.07 behind of Amy Williams, from Great Britain, and Canadian Michelle Kelly, who won the event, in first with a time of 50.34.Uhlaender responded in the second heat with a run of 50.51 for a total time of 1.41.09. Williams slipped behind Uhlaender into third position after a second run of 50.85, only fifth best of the heat, for a combined time of 1.41.36 to take the bronze. 2003 World Champion Kelly dominated the competition, finishing 0.66 ahead of the field, with a time of 1.40.43.”Michelle put together two solid runs, and with the way she’s sliding this season, she’s going to be tough to beat this year,” Uhlaender said.Yamada was tied with Germany’s Anja Huber after the first run with a time of 51.01, nestled within competitive group of sliders. Yamada moved up two spots after her second run with a time of 50.80, fourth best of the heat, for a combined time of 1.41.81. Huber also was able to react to the tight field, moving up three positions, edging Yamada out of a podium position with the third best time of the second heat (50.70) for a total time of 1.41.71.”I felt good, and put down two solid runs,” Yamada said. “Training was up and down, so I’m happy I was able to accomplish two good runs today.”O’Shea drew start number one. O’Shea slid a first run time of 51.28, putting her in twelfth position leading into the second heat.”Whenever I’m off first, I get first-run jitters,” O’Shea said. “It was a slow run, so I knew I needed to relax and let it run for the second heat.”O’Shea was able to stay relaxed in the second heat, pushing a 5.06 start, and moved up two positions into tenth place after a run of 50.93 for a total time of 1.42.21. This was O’Shea’s second World Cup competition, tying her tenth place finish last week in Calgary, Alberta.”My best push time before today on this track was a 5.09, so I was really excited to have pushed a personal best in the race,” O’Shea said. “Hopefully next week I can break the tenth place finish!”The teams will compete in Lake Placid, N.Y. next week for the third World Cup competition of the 2007-08 season.”I think I have a solid chance to medal in Lake Placid,” Uhlaender said. “Anything can happen on that track and it’s anyone’s game.
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