The doubles luge team of Matt Mortensen and Jayson Terdiman, plus singles racers Tucker West and Emily Sweeney, won their respective divisions Sunday at the Norton Seeding Race, held on the 2018 Olympic luge track in PyeongChang, South Korea, and are among the athletes who will compete for the U.S. on the world cup circuit this season.
Mortensen and Terdiman, who competed at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 with different partners and finished third in the world cup series last season, won the two-run race by 1.5 seconds with a time of 1:34.776. West, who also competed in Sochi as well as at the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games, finished in a combined time of 1:38.020, while Sweeney, who hopes to make her Olympic debut in February, had a winning combined time of 1:34.664. Every athlete got to make three runs and discard the slowest time in the race, which was used to determine the world cup team after previously scheduled seeding races in Calgary, Alberta, and Lake Placid, New York were canceled due to weather. The first seeding race, held on the 2010 Olympic track in Whistler, British Columbia, was won by West, Mortensen and Terdiman, and four-time world medalist and 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Erin Hamlin.
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The women’s team that will compete in the season opener in Igls, Austria in two weeks will also include Hamlin, Olympic hopeful Raychel Germaine and 2014 Olympian Summer Britcher. Both Britcher and Germaine competed at the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria with West.
West will be joined on the men’s singles team by two-time Olympian Chris Mazdzer, Taylor Morris, Jonny Gustafson and John Fennell. Fennell competed in Sochi for Canada and joined Team USA for the 2016-17 season. Mortensen and Terdiman will compete alongside the doubles teams of Justin Krewson and Andrew Sherk, who were second in the PyeongChang seeding race, and Jake Hyrns and Anthony Espinoza, who finished second in Whistler.
The 10 members of the 2018 Olympic team – three men, three women and two doubles teams – will be chosen from among the athletes on the world cup team on Dec. 16 following the fifth world cup event in Lake Placid.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.