After two meets in Europe, the World Financial Group-sponsored USA Luge team stayed in North America Dec. 10-11 for the third Nation and World Cup meets in Calgary, Alberta. The past two meets have found our athletes on the medal stand. Will the winning continue for USA Luge in “the fastest sport on ice”?
It did! In World Cup Women’s racing, 2009 World Champion Erin Hamlin returned to the medal stand with a three-race combined time of 1:33.595. This earned her the bronze medal, and she was only 0.297 seconds off the lead. Now that’s fast! Also racing for the women in the World Cup were Julia Clukey, whose time of 1:35.949 earned her 17th place. WFG-adopted athlete Ashley Walden came in 19th place with a time of 1:36.668. Both Julia and Ashley also competed in the one run Nation Cup race, with both women placing in the top 10. Julia had a 5th place run of 48.168, while Ashley wasn’t too far behind her in 8th with a time of 48.444.
The doubles teams also did well in the one-run Nation Cup race. Placing third were Matthew Mortensen and Preston Griffall with a run of 44.768 seconds, only 0.129 seconds off the leaders’ pace. Newcomers Shane Hook and Zachary Clark did well in their Nation Cup debut with a run of 45.72 seconds for sixth overall. In World Cup doubles racing, last week’s bronze medal-winning team of Christian Niccum and Jayson Terdiman failed to capitalize on that finish. Their three-run combined time was 1:28.649, which earned them 8th place finish. To show you how competitive this race was, Christian and Jayson’s time was only 0.55 seconds off the lead. Matthew and Preston slid to a combined 1:28.912 for 10th and Shane and Zachary, also debuting in the World Cup event, had a combined 1:31.760 for 15th.
For the USA Luge men’s team, they fared better in the Nation Cup races than the World Cup ones. The best finisher was WFG-adopted athlete Bengt Walden. Ashley’s husband finished 7th in the one-run contest with a time of 45.809. Close behind him was Chris Mazdzer, who earned 8th place with a time of 46.023. Trent Matheson finished 14th with a time of 46.425. In Men’s World Cup racing, Bengt finished 20th with a three-race time of 1:30.598. Chris was 25th with a time of 1:30.783 and Trent found himself in 32nd with a time of 1:38.047.
After one meet in North America, what would be better than two? Starting on Dec. 18, USA Luge travels to Park City, Utah, for the next World Cup competition. Here’s to continued success to USA Luge from your friends at World Financial Group!