Hey! Do you read Sports Illustrated? If you do, then you know that the issue for the week of Feb. 16 has three pictures of the World Financial Group-sponsored USA Luge team. On pages eight and nine, in the “Leading Off” section, Erin Hamlin is featured in an action shot on her luge along with an insert of her crossing the finish line in victory at the Luge World Championships that took place at Lake Placid, NY last week. And on page 20, in “Newsmakers,” Erin is featured again, along with doubles team members Mark Grimmette and Brian Martin in their own action shot from the World Champions. A brief article accompanies these pictures with quotes from all three team members.
But there was no rest after their triumphant showing on the track last weekend. Our USA Luge team continued their season this past Friday and Saturday in Calgary, AB for the penultimate race of the season.
Representing the WFG-sponsored USA Luge on the women’s side is newly crowned world champion Erin. She wore the yellow World Champion’s bib (their words, not mine). Alas, she placed seventh with a time of 1:35.806, a mere 0.628 seconds behind Germany’s Tatjana Hüfner, who took home gold. Also sliding with Erin were teammates Ashley Walden (1:36.162 for the 11th spot) and Anastasia Young (1:36.775 for 16th place).
For the Men’s team, Bengt Walden built on his best ever international finish. His 1:31.273 also was his best-ever run last week in Lake Placid. For the competition in Calgary, he finished in seventh place. In fact, he has placed in the top ten over his last six international races. Way to go Bengt! US teammates Chris Mazdzer and Tony Benshoof slid to 20th and 21st place, respectively.
In doubles competition, World Cup medalists Mark and Brian slid for a ninth place finish. Their teammates Christian Niccum and Dan Joye (who was battling a high fever) came slightly ahead of Mark and Brian with an eighth place finish. They were joined by Matt Mortensen and Preston Griffall, who slid to 15th place in their first race this season.
Over Valentine’s Day weekend the Junior USA Luge team received some love as well. The Junior World Championship Team Competition found US teammates Robbie Huerbin, Kate Hansen, Trent Matheson and Taylor Morris sliding to a silver medal in Nagano, Japan. Their relay time of 2:26.116 was a mere 0.315 seconds behind gold medalist team from Germany. In the photo below, from Gordon Sheer from USA Luge, you can make out the World Financial Group logo on Robbie’s coat.
The Luge season ends this coming weekend at Whistler, BC in the World Cup Finale. Your friends at WFG wish you all the best!