Martin Meissner, AP
WINTERBERG, Germany — Noelle Pikus-Pace won silver in the first skeleton World Cup race of 2014.
She pushed a personal best of 5.51 seconds and was tied for first after one run. But a small mistake in corner 13 was enough to push her to second place in the final standings.
Still, the Orem native was happy to be on the podium in her first competition following the holiday break.
"I was a little cloudy coming back to training after the holiday break and had some trouble getting back into it," Pikus-Pace said. "It really is a relief to have a podium finish to get second half started. Second half feels different than first half, it always has. I know I have to rejuvenate and I have to start second half with a fresh perspective as if it's a new season."
Pikus-Pace and Britian’s Elizabeth Yarnold were tied after the first run, but a better second run for Yarnold allowed her to win gold with a 1:57.53. Pikus-Pace was second with a combined time of 1:58.10., while Canada’s Sarah Reid was third with a combined time of 1:58.49.
“It feels good knowing I had more in me,” Pikus-Pace said. “I had some troubles that definitely cost me in time today, so I’m a little disappointed, but I’m still happy to have a silver medal."
Winterberg, Germany, is where Pikus-Pace’s career took off. It is where she earned her first World Cup win in 2004. She went on to become the first U.S. female skeleton athlete to win a World Cup title after collecting five medals that season.
"This track is where it all began for me," Pikus-Pace said. "A little switch flipped and I knew I had the potential to be the best in the world. This was where I realized I could be a top competitor and that I was equal to other athletes. I didn't need to look up to anyone else anymore and it was an even playing field."
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