Utah’s Noelle Pikus-Pace in second halfway through world skeleton championship
Winter sports • Eagle Mountain resident won’t win title, but comeback has been a success.
Published: January 31, 2013 10:42AM
Updated: May 21, 2013 11:31PM
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US athlete Noelle Pikus-Pace starts her first run during the women's Skeleton World Championship in St. Moritz, Switzerland, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Keystone, Arno Balzarini)

A world title might be out of reach, but Noelle Pikus-Pace is in strong contention for the podium at the world championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

The Orem native and Eagle Mountain resident was sitting in second place Thursday at the halfway mark of the women’s skeleton competition, a full second behind Great Britain’s Shelley Rudman. That’s a lot of time to make up, but Pikus-Pace will take her best shot in the final two runs of the competition on Friday.

“I feel good about where I’m sitting and hopefully I can come back tomorrow with two better runs,” Pikus-Pace said. “I made some mistakes that I don’t usually make and I’m not very happy with today’s runs.  I felt sluggish and I just wasn’t my best, and I feel like there’s more in the bag.”

Pikus-Pace posted a two-run total of 2 minutes, 20.03 seconds, one second behind Rudman and 0.15 seconds ahead of Great Britain’s Elizabeth Yarnold.

However it comes out, Pikus-Pace is sure to feel satisfied with her first season back on the international tour after a 2 1/2-year retirement.

“Hopefully I can get some good sleep ... and come back feeling refreshed,” Pikus-Pace said.  “I’ve always liked the four heat format, and I’m looking forward to getting closer to the lead, if not moving up. … I know I can do better.”