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O’Shea takes 10th on tricky Altenberg track

January 6, 2017
Lake Placid News

ALTENBERG, Germany - Annie O'Shea, of Port Jefferson Station, once again led Team USA in the women's skeleton World Cup with a 10th-place finish on the harrowing German track in Altenberg.

"There's always some version of nerves on this track, but it's actually one of my favorite tracks to slide on," O'Shea said. "It's so technical, and when you get it right, it feels like you're cruising."

O'Shea's best result on the run heading into this weekend was 12th from a 2015 World Cup race, and she improved her personal best to 10th today with a combined time of 1:59.28. The veteran posted consistent starts of 5.73 and 5.74 seconds for runs of 59.76 and 59.52 seconds, respectively.

"I wanted to do a lot better today, but I messed up some areas I did well during training this week," O'Shea said. "It was a crazy week of training really with so many varying conditions, but it's an outdoor sport and you never know what you're going to get. It's part of it."

German Jacqueline Loelling, who holds the current track record that was set in February 2015, earned her first World Cup victory today with a combined time of 1:57.17. Loelling led the field by a huge margin of 0.44 seconds, and today's win moved her into the overall World Cup lead.

Germany's Tina Hermann was second in 1:57.61. Austrian Janine Flock claimed her first Altenberg World Cup medal today with a total time of 1:57.71, denying the Germans a sweep of the medals by claiming bronze. German Anna Fernstaedt was fourth.

Today was Katie Uhlaender's first World Cup since the 2014 Olympic season, and the first week back to competition since USA Skeleton National Team Trials this fall. The three-time Olympian became ill after trials, forcing her to sit out the first half of the season while undergoing treatment. Because Uhlaender has no points this season, she was last in the start order. She raced into 11th position with a first run campaign of 59.97 seconds, and finished the race in 12th after a second run of 59.93 seconds. Uhlaender was 0.62 seconds outside the top-10 with a two-run total of 1:59.90.

Kendall Wesenberg raced for only the second time on the tricky German course. Last season she finished 18th, and she bettered her result to 14th today with a combined time of 2:00.12. Wesenberg had a slight slip at the start in heat one and clocked a run of 1:00.29, and had a speedier second run of 59.83 seconds despite snowier conditions.

World Cup racing continued in Altenberg today with the women's bobsled event at 8 a.m. EST.



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