Noelle Pikus-Pace of the U.S. finishes the women’s skeleton event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at the Sanki Sliding Center in Rosa Khutor February 13, 2014. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch (RUSSIA – Tags: OLYMPICS SPORT SKELETON)

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – American Noelle Pikus-Pace is in position to medal after the third of four runs for the leaders in skeleton, sitting second behind only Great Britain’s Elizabeth Yarnold.

Pikus-Pace, a 31-year-old mother of two, covered the track at the Sanki Sliding Center in 58.25 seconds Friday evening, but lost ground to Yarnold, whose third run of 57.91 seconds set a track record and may have gone a long way toward locking up gold.

101 mph148.1 feet148.1 feet
37 mph54.3 feet54.3 feet
11 mph16.6 feet16.6 feet
0 FT148.1 FT

Winter speed demons (and curlers, too)

Pikus-Pace now trails Yarnold, whose cumulative time over three runs is 2 minutes, 54.80 seconds, by 0.78 seconds. The fourth and final run is scheduled for 11:50 a.m. EST, and the winner is the slider with the lowest total time over those four runs — the first two of which were contested Thursday.

Fellow American Katie Uhlaender entered the third heat in fourth place, just 0.14 of a second out of medal position. But Uhlaender was passed by Russia’s Olga Potylitsina, who posted a run of 58.13 seconds to Uhlaender’s 58.41. Uhlaender is now in fifth, 1.19 secodns behind Yarnold and 0.22 of a second behind Russia’s Elena Nikitina, who sits third.