The USA Luge team, sponsored by World Financial Group, competed in the 42nd Federation International de Luge World Champions on January 29-30 in Cesana, Italy. At the last World Championships, team member Erin Hamlin won the women’s title. Would she repeat her win this year? And would her teammates take a spot on the medal stand?
The USA Luge team finishing highest in the competition were the doubles team of Matthew Mortensen and Preston Griffall, who achieved seventh place overall with a combined time of 1:34.127. Teammates Christian Niccum and Jayson Terdiman also placed in the top 15 with a time of 1:34.208, earning them the spot at 11 overall.
Three of the USA Luge women’s team competed at the World Champions this year. Although none of them had medal-earning finishes, each did find a place in the top 20. Julia Clukey finished with a combined time of 1:35.397 for a 12th place finish; 2009 World Champion Erin Hamlin’s combined time of 1:35.560 earned her 14th overall; and WFG-adopted athlete Ashley Walden finished 17th with a time of 1:36.165.
Two members of the USA Luge men’s team competed in the World Champions, including WFG-adopted athlete (and Ashley’s husband) Bengt Walden, who finished 12th with a time of 1:44.640. Also sliding was Chris Mazdzer, in his first World Championship, who earned 23rd place with a time of 1:45.078.
The USA Luge team will next compete in Moscow on February 12-13. All of us at World Financial Group wish USA Luge continued success for the rest of the season.