Eric Bernotas became the first American in nearly two years to win a World Cup skeleton race .
Bernotas, of Avondale, Pa., won in 1 minute, 9.15 seconds on Friday. The event was shortened to one run by race officials because of conditions at the start of the track.
"I've been sliding well over the last few weeks but I haven't been able to put it together on race day," Bernotas said in a release from the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation. "I knew it was going to happen."
Kristan Bromley of Britain was 0.07 seconds back and World Cup leader Martins Dukurs of Latvia was third.
In the women's event, Shelley Rudman of Britain finished two runs in 2:20.42. Mellisa Hollingsworth of Canada was second in 2:20.46 and Kerstin Szymkowiak of Germany was third.
Katie Uhlaender of Breckenridge, Colo., was the top U.S. woman, finishing sixth, two spots ahead of Noelle Pikus-Pace of Eagle Mountain, Utah.
Before Bernotas' breakthrough, the top U.S. skeleton showing this season had been a fifth-place finish.
"We've been working well together as a team, and the coaching staff has been incredible," Bernotas said. "Our team has been sliding the way we've needed to, even though the results haven't shown it."
Although nothing will be official until Sunday, the U.S. men are in position to send three skeleton sleds to the Vancouver Olympics, with Bernotas and Zach Lund of Salt Lake City expected to be joined by either John Daly of Smithtown, N.Y. or Matt Antoine of Prairie du Chien, Wis.
Daly won an Intercontinental Cup race in Calgary on Thursday night, strongly enhancing his chances.
The U.S. women will have two skeleton sleds in Vancouver, with Uhlaender and Pikus-Pace set to be the nominees for those spots. The USBSF plans to announce the full roster of Olympic qualifiers by Wednesday.
"It's definitely coming along," said Uhlaender, who is still recovering from several offseason surgeries to repair a shattered kneecap. "I've been working nonstop to get to where I was, and I know it'll be there for the games. ... I still have a few weeks left to get even faster."