Janine Flock closes in on 2nd skeleton World Cup title

Austria's Janine Flock all but clinched her second women's World Cup overall skeleton championship Friday, while Germany’s Jacqueline Loelling picked up her first series win of the season.

Loelling prevailed over Anna Fernstaedt of the Czech Republic, who was a career-best second. Flock was third and now can wrap up the title next weekend on her home track in Innsbruck, where the World Cup finale will take place.

Flock, who also won the 2014-15 women’s season title, has been in the top-three in every race this season. All she needs in the finale to clinch the championship is to finish 18th or better.

Katie Uhlaender led the U.S. with a seventh-place showing Friday, her second consecutive top-10 finish. Also for the U.S., Kendall Wesenberg finished 14th and Kelly Curtis placed 19th in her World Cup debut.

In the men’s race, Germany’s Alexander Gassner got his second consecutive victory and closed within 60 points of Latvia’s Martins Dukurs for the season-long point lead. The gap was 149 points entering Friday.

Reigning Olympic champion Sungbin Yun of South Korea was second and and Russia’s Alexander Tretiakov was third. Dukurs finished 11th, three spots ahead of top U.S. finisher Austin Florian.

Austin McCrary was 20th for the U.S.