Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Noelle Pikus-Pace, John Daly win
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Noelle Pikus-Pace and John Daly raced to their second U.S. skeleton team selection victories of the season Wednesday, and drivers Jamie Greubel and Nick Cunningham also earned their second wins in the bobsled team selection event.
The U.S. bobsled team will be revealed Thursday morning, with Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones in contention for a spot as a push athlete. Coaches were meeting late Wednesday night to finalize the roster.
Pikus-Pace was 1.91 seconds faster than any other woman in the skeleton competition, an enormous margin for a sport typically decided by hundreths of a second. Daly was 0.51 seconds faster than all challengers in the men's race.
Kimber Gabryszak was second in the skeleton event Wednesday, followed by Annie O'Shea. In the men's race, Kyle Tress was second behind Daly, and Mike Dellemann was third.
The skeleton selection races continue in Park City, Utah, on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. Katie Uhlaender and Matt Antoine have byes onto the national team based on their performances last season.
Bobsled's selection races ended Wednesday night, with Greubel teaming with Aja Evans for a narrow win in the women's competition. Greubel and Evans finished two runs in 1 minute, 55.94 seconds, just 0.05 seconds ahead of Jazmine Fenlator and Cherrelle Garrett. Katelyn Kelly and Tracey Stewart were third, more than 3 seconds off the pace.
In men's bobsled, Cunningham and his crew of Adam Clark, Andreas Drbal and Johnny Quinn finished two runs in 1:51.34, 0.37 seconds ahead of the team of Cory Butner, Chuck Berkeley, Laszlo Vandracsek and Chris Fogt. Third place went to the sled driven by Codie Bascue and with push athletes Nic Taylor, Jesse Beckom and Sam Michener.
The reigning four-man world championship bobsled of Steven Holcomb, Steve Langton, Justin Olsen and Curt Tomasevicz were exempt from the competition and have an automatic spot on the national team for this season.