The World Financial Group (WFG)-sponsored USA Luge team competed in the final Nations and World Cup matches of the season in Sigulda, Latvia on Sat., Feb. 19 and Sun., Feb. 20.  This year, the competitors from the USA Luge team included Erin Hamlin, Chris Mazdzer, Matthew Mortensen, Preston Griffall, WFG-adopted athletes Bengt and Ashley Walden. Let’s take a look at their results.

In the one-slide Nations Cup race, Ashley Walden finished third with a time of 43.026 seconds.  This time was a short 0.261 seconds off the leader.  Immediately on her heels was Erin Hamlin, whose 43.102 second run earned her 4th place.  Both women competed in the World Cup contest, consisting of two races, with Ashley finishing in 1.26.060 for 14th place.  Again, Erin was immediately behind her with a time of 1:26.248 for 15th.

The World Financial Group (WFG)-sponsored USA Luge doubles team of Matthew Mortensen and Preston Griffall had a great Nations Cup race.  Their time of 42.729, only 0.251 seconds behind the leader, earned them the silver medal.  And in the World Cup race, they rounded out the top ten with a two-race combined time of 1:25.428.

In the men’s heats for the Nations Cup and World Cup, Bengt Walden led his teammate with a slide time of 49.241 earned him 11th place. Chris Mazdzer finished very closely behind Bengt in 13th place with a time of 49.430.  In World Cup racing, Bengt finished 19th with a time of 1:38.318 and Chris came in 23rd with a time of 1:38.884.

In the relay race, the WFG-sponsored USA Luge team of Ashley, Bengt, Matthew and Preston slid to fourth place with a combined time of 2:17.507 – just 0.9 seconds away from earning third.

Although the Luge World Cup season has come to a close, it’s not the end of the season for the WFG-sponsored USA Luge team.  The team returns to action in Lake Placid, NY on March 5 to determine domestic seeding and a national champion.  Keep reading for all the latest on “the fastest sport on ice”. 

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