U.S. women claim three medals in Intercontinental Cup finale; Curtis claims overall title
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Feb. 1, 2020)– Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.) and Kelly Curtis (Princeton, N.J.) led the U.S. in the Intercontinental Cup finale in South Korea this week, claiming a combined three medals in the two-race event. Uhlaender earned gold and bronze medals, while Curtis claimed a silver medal to secure the 2020 overall women’s skeleton Intercontinental Cup title.
“It was a really fantastic accomplishment for Kelly (Curtis) to win the overall title and a testament to her sliding knowledge and abilities,” said USA Skeleton Developmental Coach Matt Antoine. “With the exception of Lake Placid, N.Y., this entire tour was brand new tracks to her. To be vying for the medals each and every race really says a lot, and something she should be proud of.”
Uhlaender was the only U.S. competitor to know the 2018 Olympic track prior to this week. Antoine said it was a challenging week for the team, but they “embraced the opportunity and made progress each day.”
“Kelly (Curtis) and Katie (Uhlaender) earning a combined three medals was great to see,” Antoine said. “Everyone can certainly take positives out of the week and apply them to their sliding.”
Uhlaender was dominant in PyeongChang’s first competition on Friday. She posted start times of 5.22 and 5.23 seconds for runs of 53.57 and 53.62 seconds, respectively. Uhlaender was victorious by 0.36 seconds with a combined time of 1:47.19.
“It felt really nice to get another win,” said Uhlaender, who won both races in Lake Placid earlier this season. “I knew it was going to be tough to beat Kimberly (Bos). She has a bronze medal here from the test event and was eighth at the Olympics. She knows how to throw down on this track. The weather worked with me the first day, and I was able to pull it off.”
Kimberly Bos from the Netherlands claimed silver with a two-run combined time of 1:47.55, followed by Yangqi Zhu of China in third with a 1:47.66.
Curtis posted the second fastest time of 53.85 seconds in the first heat, but she back with a second run of 53.91. She finished fourth with a combined time of 1:47.76.
“I made some crucial mistakes down the bottom of the track in the first race,” Curtis said. “With having only seven training runs prior to the races, I’m once again grateful to have Matt Antoine as a coach to help break the track down into manageable sections.”
Sara Roderick (Truro, Mass.) was solid on day one, clocking the fifth best downtime of 54.05 seconds in heat one, and the 11th best of 54.77 in heat two. Roderick was blazing at the start with push times of 5.06 and 5.08 seconds. She completed the first of two races in eighth place with a combined time of 1:48.82.
Bos was flawless in the finale, posting the fastest downtimes for a total of 1:46.79 to win the last women’s skeleton Intercontinental Cup of the season. Curtis was close behind with the second and third fastest downtimes of the field of 53.64 and 53.65 seconds, respectively, to claim the silver medal in 1:47.29.
“Hopefully I’ll be able to come back in the future and continue to build upon my knowledge gained from this week,” Curtis said. “Thanks again to the Women’s Sport Foundation, Caffeine and Cannabinoids, KOV Gym, and Iron Coffee for the support.”
Uhlaender struggled in the first heat, clocking the sixth best time of 54.22 seconds. She rallied back in the final heat with the second best time of 53.61 seconds to move into bronze medal position with a combined time of 1:47.83.
“Today was rough,” Uhlaender said. “I may have chosen too aggressive of a set up for the ice conditions, the ice was much harder than yesterday and I lost control the first run. However, I also feel I got some solid data for myself moving forward. I unfortunately gave away my first run in the process, but Kelly (Curtis) was there to step up for the team, and Matt (Antoine) was there to help me refocus and stay in the moment. I was able to throw down a better second run to get back in the medals, and Kelly took home a silver medal and the overall. I couldn't be happier for her.”
Roderick repeated yesterday’s performance, finishing eighth with a total time of 1:48.62. She again blew the field away at the start with push times of 5.12 and 5.13 seconds.
“As a new slider I was really grateful for my teammates on the tour who have some great experience at racing on a higher level,” Roderick said. “These final races weren't exactly what I was hoping for, but I see it as fuel for the fire. KBSF put on an amazing event and it's been a pleasure to race and train here in South Korea. I'm so hopeful for the future of our program and for us to continue to grow as a team. Thank you to USABS for the opportunity to learn and grow, our team sponsors for all they do to help us through the season and my family and friends for being the best support system.”
Curtis secured the overall title with 736 points. Susanne Kreher from Germany finished second with 662 points, followed by Uhlaender in third with 640 points and Roderick in fourth with 636 points.
“I somehow squeaked into top three overall despite missing two races, and I'm honored and grateful for that,” Uhlaender said.
“Sara (Roderick)’s starts are top of the world, and Kelly (Curtis) is right with me at the start and the bottom of the track. We are all pushing each other and staying supportive of each other, which means a lot to me,” Uhlaender said. “I think our program is building toward something good. It makes me happy as I attempt to make my last Olympic team to know there is a bright future ahead. It will not be easy for anyone this time around to make Beijing, and I hope that means Team USA is back on top.”
Stephen Garbett (Parker, Colo.) led the U.S. men in overall standings. He finished 10th yesterday with a combined time of 1:46.42, and tied teammate Austin McCrary (Colleyville, Texas) for 12th today with a two-run total of 1:46.83. Garbett finished fourth in overall season standings with 524 points, just 20 points from the top three.
“This was a very hard week of training with such a quick turnaround from Lake Placid to South Korea,” Garbett said. “Learning this track was very tricky for me but I was able to start piecing it together on race days. I was sitting in contention for third overall going into my last run and I knew in order for me to keep the spot I had to try a line in corner four that I had not done. I tried it and was unsuccessful and fell back a few spots. It was worth the risk but it’s hard when it doesn’t work out for you. It’s been a great season and I have learned a lot from Matt (Antoine) coaching this year.”
McCrary has raced the European Cup this season and joined the Intercontinental Cup team for the finale. He was seventh yesterday with a combined time of 1:45.84.
Mike Rogals (Orwell, Vt.) finished 13th and 19th with two-run combined times of 1:47.02 and 1:48.08, respectively. Rogals wrapped up the season ranked 10th.
Seunggi Jung claimed gold for the host nation in the first men’s race with an aggregate time of 1:44.35. Christopher Grotheer of Germany was second in 1:44.95, and Briton Craig Thompson was third in 1:45.08. Jung completed a sweep of the finale with another gold medal performance today with a combined time of 1:44.30. German Kilian Von Schleinitz claimed silver in 1:44.39, and Thompson was again third with a total time of 1:44.79.
Today concludes the Intercontinental Cup tour for the 2019-2020 season. Please direct media inquiries to the USABS Marketing and Communications Director Amanda Bird at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women’s skeleton race #1 1.Katie Uhlaender (USA) 1:47.19 (53.57, 53.62); 2. Kimberly Bos (NED) 1:47.55 (53.85, 53.70); 3. Yangqi Zhu (CHN) 1:47.66 (53.86, 53.80); 4. Kelly Curtis (USA) 1:47.76 (53.85, 53.91); 8. Sara Roderick (USA) 1:48.82 (54.05, 54.77);
Women’s skeleton race #2
1. Kimberly Bos (NED) 1:46.79 (53.54, 53.25); 2. Kelly Curtis (USA) 1:47.29 (53.64, 53.65); 3. Katie Uhlaender (USA) 1:47.83 (54.22, 53.61); 8. Sara Roderick (USA) 1:48.62 (54.22, 54.40);
Men’s skeleton race #1
1.Seunggi Jung (KOR) 1:44.35 (52.24, 52.11); 2. Christopher Grotheer (GER) 1:44.95 (52.50, 52.45); 3. Craig Thompson (GBR) 1:45.08 (52.89, 52.19); 7. Austin McCrary (USA) 1:45.84 (52.90, 52.94); 10. Stephen Garbett (USA) 1:46.42 (53.19, 53.23); 13. Mike Rogals (USA) 1:47.02 (53.71, 53.31);
Men’s skeleton race #2
1.Seunggi Jung (KOR) 1:44.20 (52.08, 52.12); 2. Kilian Von Schleinitz (GER) 1:44.39 (52.21, 52.18); 3. Craig Thompson (GBR) 1:44.79 (52.45, 52.34); 12. Stephen Garbett (USA) 1:46.83 (53.18, 53.65); 12. Austin McCrary (USA) 1:46.83 (53.62, 53.21); 19. Mike Rogals (USA) 1:48.08 (53.33, 54.75);
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