USA Luge medals in all Nations Cup disciplines in Park City, Utah

Dec. 13, 2013, 5:03 p.m. (ET)

PARK CITY, Utah – On the eve of the final luge event prior to Olympic team nomination, the United States raced five sleds from Nations Cup qualifying on Thursday night into the Friday and Saturday World Cup races.

The effort was led by local racer Taylor Morris of South Jordan, Utah, who took a Nations Cup silver medal 0.07 of a second behind Russian Stepan Federov on a cold night at the Utah Olympic Park.

The weather helped create some of the fastest conditions of the week at the 2002 Olympic venue, where speeds topped out at 83 miles per hour. Morris started slowly and covered the mile of ice in 45.254 seconds.

“Curve two is a trouble spot for everyone,” said Morris, who needs a top 15 World Cup finish to satisfy a selection criteria. “You have to find the pocket into that corner and you have to hit the drive right on. If not you will hit the wall and it will cost you.”

If it’s any consolation to Morris, the turn two-three combination has been worrisome ever since the track opened in the late 1990s.

Aidan Kelly of West Islip, N.Y., challenged Morris until a skid and subsequent correction out of curve 14 brought him to third place in 45.276. “The run was really rough, but I was happy with the time,” he stated.

The third American man to advance was Joe Mortensen of Huntington Station, N.Y. Mortensen started last and finished 11th in 45.702.

Similarly Emily Sweeney of Suffield, Conn., the final starter in the 33-woman singles field, took the bronze medal in 43.894, just 0.04 from Canadian winner Kimberly McRae. Summer Britcher of Glen Rock, Pa., took fifth in 43.983.

Sweeney is outside the top four women – the World Cup quota is four - after a race-off several weeks ago in Winterberg, Germany. The 2013 Junior World Champion is now awaiting the results of Friday’s women’s World Cup event to see if she will be part of another race-off. The winner of this one, however, gets a ticket to the Sochi Olympic Winter Games.

Jake Hyrns and Andrew Sherk collected a bronze medal in the qualifier to enter the Saturday World Cup doubles race. Hyrns of Muskegon, Mich., and Sherk of Fort Washington, Pa., need a top 10 to meet a selection criteria.

Their bronze medal time was 43.924, putting them 0.13 from winners Daniel Rothamel and Toni Fortsch.

With one weekend remaining in USA Luge’s Sochi qualification period, eight of 10 berths are still available.

Doubles and women’s singles get underway at 11:30 AM MST on Saturday, with men’s singles and the team relay Sunday at 11:15 AM MST.

Live timing and scoring will be available at www.fil-luge.org. The four competitions will be streamed live on www.universalsports.com, with a two-hour program Monday night at 9 PM EST on the NBC Sports Network.