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Pikus-Pace wins World Cup event in Germany

By Jay Hinton

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Jan. 11 2013 9:49 p.m. MST

Germany's second placed Marion Thees, left, winner Noelle Pikus-Pace from the United Statesand Germany's third placed Anja Huber celebrate on the podium after the women's Skeleton World Cup race in Koenigssee, Germany, Friday, Jan. 11, 2013.

Kerstin Joensson, Associated Press

KOENIGSSEE, Germany — Noelle Pikus-Pace, a 2005 graduate of Utah Valley University, won the gold medal in the skeleton Friday to pick up her first World Cup victory since 2004.

Pike-Pace, who returned to the sport after retiring in 2010, traversed the course in 1 minute, 47.51 seconds, which was 0.41 seconds better than Marion Thees, the overall World Cup leader.

Pikus-Pace, the American and World Cup champion, finished just out of the medals at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics by placing fourth.

She was one of the favorites to win a medal in Turin before a freak accident with a runaway bobsled broke one of her legs.

In 2003 at Utah Valley, Pikus-Pace won the national championship in the discus and was a first-team All-American. She also set the school high jump record in 2004 and in 2005 was named to the NCAA Division I All-Independent Team. She graduated from UVU with a degree in community health.

She was inducted into the UVU Hall of Fame on Jan. 28, 2012.

Jay Hinton is a sports information assistant at Utah Valley University.

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