LAKE PLACID, NY - The competitive luge season came to an end on March 16-17 for members of the U.S. national luge team with Norton Seeding Races #3 and #4. Erin Hamlin and Taylor Morris were the winners in the women and men’s competitions, respectively.
L to R: Britcher, Hamlin and Sweeney. Photos courtesy Cynthea Wight
Hamlin, of Remsen, N.Y., who finished the 2012-13 World Cup season ranked seventh, edged out Summer Britcher of Glen Rock, Pa. on both days of competition. Emily Sweeney of Suffield, Conn. was third in each race. Hamlin earned 200 seeding points, Britcher 170 and Sweeney 140.
L to R: Mortensen, Morris and Underwood
In the men’s division, Taylor Morris of South Jordan, Utah comfortably won both races. Tucker West of Ridgefield, Conn. was the silver medalist in race #3, with Joe Mortensen of Huntington Station, N.Y. taking bronze. The following day, Mortensen moved up a spot on the podium to take silver, while Skandia, Michigan’s Isaac Underwood took bronze.
Morris finished with 200 points to win the series, while Mortensen finished second with 155 points. Underwood ranked third with 130 points.
The top two finishers in the women’s competition and the top male finisher are guaranteed entry into the fall 2013 Norton National Championship and Seeding Races.
Norton Seeding Race #1 and #2, held in October of 2012, were used to help select members of the fall World Cup squad.
There were some notable omissions from the start list for the race series. 2013 Lake Placid World Cup silver medalist Julia Clukey of Augusta, Maine opted not to compete, since she has already qualified for the fall races based on her World Cup results. Instead, she chose to forerun for both days of competition.
In the doubles division, Matt Mortensen of Huntington Station, N.Y. and Preston Griffall of Salt Lake City, Utah, also pre-qualified for the fall 2013 Norton National Championships and Seeding Races, decided not to compete.
Their teammates Christian Niccum of Woodinville, Wash. and Jayson Terdiman of Berwick, Pa. did not race. Niccum is focusing on rehabilitating his Achilles tendon, which was torn and surgically repaired in late December of 2012.
However, two teams did square off in an informal competition. Ty Andersen of Alpine, Utah and Anthony Espinoza of Park City, Utah finished in front of Jake Hyrns of Muskegon, Mich. and Andrew Sherk of Fort Washington, Pa. in both competitions. Andersen and Espinoza are members of the junior national team, while Sherk and Hyrns raced as national team athletes for the first time this season, ranking 13th in the 2012-13 World Cup.
Luge competitions resume in Lake Placid this weekend with the Norton Junior National Championships and Seeding Races. Competitions can be viewed live on www.usaluge.org, courtesy of West World Media.