CALGARY — Katie Uhlaender's bid for a fourth Olympic berth is off to a strong start.
Uhlaender had the fastest combined two-run time Saturday on the opening night of the U.S. women's skeleton national team trials, finishing in 1 minute, 55.24 seconds to hold off Kendall Wesenberg (1:55.50) and Savannah Graybill (1:55.98).
Greg West was a surprise winner of the first men's race in 1:52.19, a convincing margin over two-time Olympian John Daly (1:52.72) and Kyle Brown (1:52.88) taking third. Reigning Olympic bronze
The trials continue Sunday night in Calgary, before shifting to Lake Placid, New York, on Oct. 17 and 18. Bobsled's team trials are now set to start in Lake Placid on Sunday, one day behind the original schedule because of warm temperatures in the Adirondack Mountains in recent days.
Results from the trials will be used to help decide who will be named to the national team. From there, athletes will then be considered for spots on the Olympic team that will be named in January and will compete in Pyeongchang in February.
Uhlaender was sixth at the Turin Games in 2006, 11th at the Vancouver Games in 2010 and fourth at the Sochi Games in 2014. Annie O'Shea, the top U.S. woman in the World Cup standings last season and a past World Cup race winner, was eighth — about 1.4 seconds off Uhlaender's pace.
West has not even qualified for a race on the World Cup circuit since 2012, spending the bulk of his career racing on the lower tours. He led Daly by two-tenths of a second after the first run, then extended the margin on his second trip down the track.