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 wfgsports.com for the latest on “the fastest sport on ice!”