Team USA Wins First Luge Team Relay Medal Of The Season

By Gary R. Blockus | Jan. 07, 2018, 12:05 p.m. (ET)
Matt Mortensen, Jayson Terdiman, Tucker West and Summer Britcher celebrate after winning silver in the team relay at the Viessman World Cup on Jan. 7, 2018 in Koenigssee, Germany.

 

The U.S. luge team relay squad earned its first world cup podium finish of the season with a silver medal in Koenigssee, Germany, on Sunday.

The Americans retained their fourth-place ranking in the world cup standings after finishing the relay in 2:34.434, narrowly behind the Italian team’s finish of 2:43.223. Austria took the bronze medal.

The team of Summer Britcher, Tucker West, Matt Mortensen and Jayson Terdiman are among the 10 lugers who have been named to represent Team USA at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. All four competed at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi for their first Games.

Britcher led off for the Americans and opened up a lead of 0.14 seconds over the Italians, who recorded their winning time four runs earlier.

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West lost the lead despite a great start on the second leg, and the doubles team of Mortensen and Terdiman kept the slide together through the finish.

West was coming off a sixth-place finish from earlier Sunday, while Britcher was fifth Saturday in her race and the doubles team of Mortensen and Terdiman finished 10th Saturday.

Team USA sat anxiously through the final three runs by Austria, Canada and world cup leader Germany. In a shock, reigning world and Olympic champion Germany took a disqualification after a false start and the Americans would go home with silver.

Gary R. Blockus is a journalist from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has covered multiple Olympic Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.