Olympics

Favorite wins skeleton openers

Noelle Pikus-Pace of the USA
Noelle Pikus-Pace is among the gold-medal favorites for the Sochi Olympics
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LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP)

Former world champion Noelle Pikus-Pace and Matt Antoine posted convincing wins Monday in the opening races of this season's U.S. skeleton national team trials.

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Pikus-Pace is expected to be among the gold-medal favorites for the Sochi Olympics, and her two-run time at Mount Van Hoevenberg was 1 minute, 53.25 seconds — 0.92 seconds ahead of Annie O'Shea. Savannah Graybill was third, 1.79 seconds behind Pikus-Pace.

Antoine won the men's race in 1:50.01, 0.96 seconds ahead of returning Olympian John Daly. Kyle Tress was third, 1.2 seconds off Antoine's pace.

Pikus-Pace, Daly and Katie Uhlaender already have byes onto the national team. The other three women's and five men's spots are at stake in the trials, which are composed of four races.

The trials continue in Lake Placid on Tuesday.

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