World Cup Rookie Sarah Reid Leads Skeleton Canucks in Germany

ALTENBERG, Ger.—World Cup rookie, Sarah Reid, led a group of six Canadians to an eighth-place finish in Altenberg, Germany on Friday.

The 21-year-old Calgarian clocked a two-run time of two minutes 03.67 seconds on the Altenberg track laid out through the Saxon region of Germany, which is also considered one of the most difficult tracks in the world.

“This is one of my favourite tracks because it is so technical. It is difficult and you have to keep your wits about you or it will bite you in the butt,” said Reid, who won a gold medal at the 2008 World Junior Championships. “I was really happy to put down two solid runs and break into the top-eight today and get an Olympic qualifier (Top-8).”

Germany’s Anja Huber won her second World Cup race in as many events after stopping the clock at 1:59.82. Germany’s Kerstin Szymkowiak was also second again in consecutive weeks at 1:59.95, while Switzerland’s Maya Pedersen got back on track after taking last season off to have her second child. Pedersen finished third after posting a time of 2:00.81.

Michelle Kelly, of Fort St. John, B.C., was the only other Canadian in the field. The 34-year-old Kelly, who finished second overall on the World Cup last year, was forced to settle for 12th spot (2:04.76).

With an illness traveling as fast through the Canadian Skeleton Team as the world’s best athletes are ripping down the highly-technical track, the Canucks spent more time preparing for the race in bed this week than on their sleds. While Sarah Reid was the first to pick up the bug, Mellisa Hollingsworth, of Eckville, Alta., was the latest victim of the illness and did not start on Friday.

Illness aside, the Altenberg track proved to be an equally tough task to overcome for the Canadian men.

Jeff Pain and Jon Montgomery were the lone two Canadians to crack the top-15. The 37-year-old Pain, of Calgary, finished 10th at 1:58.27, while Montgomery, of Russell, Man., was 11th at 1:58.43.

Calgary’s Paul Boehm did not qualify for the second run with the top-20, and finished a disappointing 22nd.

Germany also grabbed two of the three spots on the men’s podium. Frank Rommel found his way into the winner’s circle with a time of 1:57.41, while his teammate, Sandro Stielicke, was third at 1:57.77. Latvia’s Martins Dukurs locked up the silver after stopping the clock at 1:57.53.

The Canadian Skeleton Team will now travel to Igls, Austria for the next stop on the World Cup, December 12-13, 2008.

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Top-Five Women’s Results:
1.Anja Huber, GER, 1:59.82; 2. Kerstin Szymkowiak, GER, 1:59.95; 3. Maya Pederen, SUI, 2:00.81; 4. Katie Uhlaender, USA, 2:01.29; 5. Marion Trott, GER, 2:01.73
Canadian Results:
8. Sarah Reid, Calgary, 2:03.67; 12. Michelle Kelly, Fort St. John, B.C.,  2:04.76

Top-Five Men’s Results:
1. Frank Rommel, GER, 1:57.41; 2. Martins Dukurs, LAT, 1:57.53; 3. Sandro Stielicke, GER, 1:57.77; 4. Florian Grassl, GER, 1:57.86; 5. Gregor Staehli, SUI, 1:57.87.
Canadian Results:
10. Jeff Pain, Calgary, CAN, 1:58.27; 11. Jon Montgomery, Russell, Man., 1:58.43; 22. Paul Boehm, Calgary, 59.89 (DNQ for second run)


Chris Dornan
Media and Public Relations
T: 281-703-4394
E-mail: uccepuevf@pbzpnfg.arg