UHLAENDER BEST U.S. FINISHER IN HER FIRST WORLD CUP SINCE 2018
WINTERBERG, Germany (January 7, 2021)- Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.) was the top American in today’s women’s skeleton World Cup, which is the first for the Americans this season, and the first for Uhlaender since 2018. The four-time Olympian finished 13th, followed by her teammate Kendall Wesenberg (Modesto, Calif.) in 17th.
Uhlaender began the sport of skeleton in 2004, and she’s battled a series of injuries throughout her career. Today was her first race back on the World Cup tour since the 2017-2018 season, and she’s making a run for her fifth Olympic bid.
“It’s my first World Cup race since the 2018 Olympic year,” Uhlaender said. “It’s not the result I would have liked, but it’s a good start. I have a new sled, new equipment, and I came out and did my best. I’m giving myself space to adjust to being back on tour. It’s been awhile. These girls are young, and I need to let my old legs catch up.”
Uhlaender clocked start times of 5.53 and 5.49 seconds for runs of 58.34 and 58.28 seconds, respectively, to finish 13th with a combined time of 1:56.62.
Wesenberg started her first run with a push time of 5.77 seconds, and raced to the finish in 58.63 seconds for the 18th best time of the heat. The 2018 Olympian clocked an unusually slow start of 6.30 in run two, and despite what looked like a clean run without any major complications, Wesenberg had a mystifying time of 1:00.05. A malfunction with timing due to snow at the start was suspected. As a result, Wesenberg’s run was scratched and she was offered an additional run. In her third run of the day, she posted a start time of 5.80 seconds for a run of 58.53 seconds. She finished 17th with a combined time of 1:57.16.
Megan Henry (Roxbury, Conn.) swept the women’s skeleton races in U.S. trials, but she is one of many athletes and coaches that did not travel to Europe. Henry is a member of the U.S. Army’s World Class Athlete Program (WCAP), and the Army has not signed off on letting soldiers in the WCAP program travel internationally for competition due to concerns with rising COVID-19 cases around the world.
Elena Nikitina from Russia moved up from second place to take the lead with a total time of 1:55.10, finishing 0.06 seconds ahead of Germany’s Tina Hermann. Janina Flock from Austria captured the bronze medal in 1:55.29.
Fans can watch the races on NBCSN, OlympicChannel.com, and the Olympic Channel. The broadcast schedule is outlined below, with all times listed in EST. Check local listings for the most updated information.
The women’s race will air again on the Olympic Channel at 6 p.m. EST tonight. The Winterberg World Cup continues tomorrow with the women’s bobsled race at 9:15 a.m. local time, followed by the two-man bobsled competition at 2 p.m.
For media inquiries, please contact USABS Marketing and Communications Director Amanda Bird at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Elena Nikitina (RUS) 1:55.10 (57.60, 57.50);
2. Tina Hermann (GER) 1:55.16 (57.58, 57.58);
3. Janine Flock (AUT) 1:55.29 (57.64, 57.65);
13. Katie Uhlaender (USA) (58.34, 58.28);
17. Kendall Wesenberg (USA) (58.63, 58.53);
About USA Bobsled/Skeleton
USA Bobsled/Skeleton (USABS), based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com. Individuals interested in becoming a bobsled or skeleton athlete can visit www.usabobsledskeleton.com.
Contact: Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing and Communications Director
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Source: Team USA