Rzhanaya Polyana, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Great Britain's Elizabeth Yarnold leads the women's skeleton singles following the first two runs Thursday at the Sochi Olympics, while Americans Noelle Pikus-Pace and Katie Uhlaender are close behind.

Yarnold set a track record at the Sanki Sliding Center with a time of 58.43 seconds in her first run and was just .03 seconds behind that pace to also post the best split in Heat 2. She has a total time of 1 minute, 56.89 seconds heading into Friday's final two runs.

Pikus-Pace, the silver medalist at the 2013 World Championships, is .44 seconds behind Yarnold in second place. The 31-year-old American barely missed out on an Olympic medal four years ago in Vancouver, finishing fourth in this event.

Elena Nikitina of Russia is .55 seconds behind Yarnold in third position and Uhlaender is trailing the leader by .69 seconds.

"That would be a dream come true if Katie and I could both be up on that podium together, to have two U.S. flags flying and waving in the wind," Pikus- Pace said. "That would be absolutely incredible."

Uhlaender finished sixth at the 2006 Turin Games and was 11th four years ago in Vancouver.

Canada's Sarah Reid is currently eighth and trails Yarnold by 1.42 seconds.