Following its first trip to Germany in 2011, the World Financial Group-sponsored USA Luge team visited Oberhof for the second of three matches in the European country on Jan. 15-16.  Would this visit prove fruitful?

Four men’s team members competed in the Nations Cup slide. WFG-adopted athlete Bengt Walden finished in the Top 10 with a one slide time of 46.748 seconds.  This earned him seventh place.  Chris Mazdzer finished 14th with a time of 46.821.  Trent Matheson came in 21st with a time of 47.486.  And immediately behind him was Joe Mortensen with a time of 47.522, which barely missed the cut for World Cup racing.  And in those races, Bengt would finish best among the U.S. men with a three-slide combined time of 1:32.265, earning him 18th overall.  Chris was immediately behind him in 19th place with a combined time of 1:32.377.  Trent finished 32nd with a time of 1:48.742.

Two members of the women’s USA Luge team competed in the Nations Cup race.  And both finished in the Top 10!  WFG-adopted athlete (and Bengt’s wife) Ashley Walden came in 9th place with her slide of 44.913 seconds.  Immediately behind her was Emily Sweeney, finishing 10th with a time of 44.913.  Both qualified for the World Cup race, along with Julia Clukey and 2009 World Cup Champ Erin Hamlin.  Julia finished best among the U.S. women with a combined two-slide time of 1:27.855.  This earned her 7th place.  Also in the Top 10 was Ashley.  She crossed the finish line in 10th place with a combined time of 1:28.013.  Erin finished 15th with a combined time of 1:28.381 and Emily finished 24th with a time of 1:42.067.

Our doubles teams only competed in the World Cup race.  Finishing best was Matthew Mortensen (Joe’s brother) and Preston Griffall, who came in 11th with a combined time of 1:27.798.  Not far behind them was the team of Christian Niccum and Jayson Terdiman, who finished 15th overall with a time of 1:28.842.

USA Luge’s best showing was in the relay race.  Our team of Erin, Bengt, Matthew and Preston finished 4th overall with a time of 2:29.521.  This was only 2.215 seconds off the lead.

World Financial Group-sponsored USA Luge team will remain in Germany for one more match  Jan. 22-23 in Altenberg.  Keep reading for the latest on “the fastest sport on ice!”

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