The World Financial Group-sponsored USA Luge team visited Winterberg, Germany and its famous “labyrinth” track for the second match of the season on Dec. 4-5. Team member and 2009 World Cup champion Erin Hamlin found herself on the medal stand by winning the bronze in her World Cup race. Will USA Luge return to medal glory?
The answer is yes! In Nation Cup doubles racing, the team of Christian Niccum and Jayson Terdiman slid to first place with a time of 43.426 in their lone run. Hot on their sled was the team of Matthew Mortensen and Preston Griffall, whose time of 43.561 earned them second place. That was just 0.135 seconds off Christian and Jayson. In the World Cup race, Christian and Jayson’s combined time of 1:27.159 put them in third, earning them the bronze medal. Matthew and Preston’s World Cup race earned them 11th place with a time of 1:27.727, only 0.895 off the leaders’ pace.
Here’s a photo of Christian & Jayson on the medal stand. (Photo courtesy USA Luge)
In Women’s Nation Cup racing, WFG-adopted athlete Ashley Walden led the USA Luge team with a one run time of 56.618. Although only landing her a sixth-place finish, her time was 0.228 seconds off the leader. Teammate Julia Clukey’s one run time of 56.640 placed her in a tie for 7th place, but just a quarter of a second off the leader’s pace. In World Cup racing, Erin Hamlin finished best among the team with a combined time of 1:55.785. This earned her 6th place. Also racing were Ashley (1:56.704 for 12th) and Julia (1:56.852 for 14th).
Four men’s team members raced in the Nation Cup. WFG-adopted athlete Bengt Walden’s one run of 52.647 earned him 12th place finish, only 0.564 off the leader. Also sliding were Chris Mazdzer (52.722 for 14th), Joe Mortensen (52.964 for 18th) and Trent Matheson (53.479 for 23rd). In World Cup racing, Bengt led the US team with a combined time of 1:45.820. This earned him 21st place. Also sliding were Chris (1:46.341 for 27th) and Joe (1:46.484 for 28th)
In the Relay Race, USA Luge’s team of Erin, Bengt, Christian and Jayson finished fourth with a time of 2.27.399, 0.805 seconds off the leader.
USA Luge members have found themselves on the medal platform for the second meet in a row. Will they do it again in Calgary starting on Dec. 10? Let’s hope so. Keep reading wfgsports.com for the latest on “the fastest sport on ice!”