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Teams announced for 2016-2017 season

By Sandy Caligiore | April 28, 2016, 12:42 p.m. (ET)

USA Luge National Team named for 2016-2017 season

All members of last year’s record-setting squad to return

LAKE PLACID, N.Y.  – USA Luge announced its national team on Monday that will participate in the 2016-2017 World Cup and World Championship season, as the run-up to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang draws one year closer.

The squad that captured a USA Luge-record 18 World Cup medals last winter, will be led by members of the national A team. 

The group is led by Erin Hamlin, 2014 Olympic bronze medalist and 2009 World Champion; Chris Mazdzer, the third-ranked man in the final 2015-2016 World Cup standings; Summer Britcher, who tied for the most tour victories last season with three; the rising Tucker West, who collected two World Cup medals and was the U23 World Champion; and Emily Sweeney, a World Cup silver medalist. 

Hamlin, a three-time Olympian from Remsen, N.Y., had one gold medal and three silvers in the first half the World Cup season to propel her to fourth place in the overall standings. 

A two-time Olympian, Mazdzer, of Saranac Lake, N.Y., had five podium results, including a pair of World Cup victories on his way to a career-best third place in the overall rankings. Mazdzer recently received his Bachelor’s degree from DeVry University and underwent successful shoulder surgery in early April. 

Britcher, a Sochi Olympian, enjoyed a break-out season in 2015-2016 in which she recorded three gold medals, tying Germany’s Tatjana Huefner, a two-time Olympic medalist, for the tour lead in victories. The Glen Rock, Pa. racer added two bronze medals and landed in fifth place overall.

West, of Ridgefield, Conn., is now attending spring classes at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y. Prior to his enrollment, however, the 2014 Olympian won the U23 world title and scored World Cup silver and bronze medals to place seventh on the campaign. 

Sweeney, of Suffield, Conn., was a consistent top 10 competitor, topped by a World Cup career best silver medal in Lake Placid. The 2013 Junior World Champion shared the podium with Hamlin and Britcher as the American women swept the podium for the first time in the organization’s history. 

These national A team members will be joined by the national B team, including the doubles team of Matt Mortensen, of Huntington Station, N.Y. and Jayson Terdiman, of Berwick, Pa. 

In just their second year together, Mortensen and Terdiman worked their way up to fifth place last year in the World Cup standings. The Sochi Olympic team members, with different partners in 2014, had four top six finishes, highlighted by a fourth place effort in January. 

Teammates and the doubles team of Justin Krewson, of Eastport, N.Y. and Andrew Sherk, of Fort Washington, Pa., have also been named to the national B team. In their debut season, Krewson and Sherk anchored USA Luge to a gold medal in the Lake Placid team relay. Their season was cut short when Krewson suffered a leg injury. 

Other B team athletes include Raychel Germaine, of Roswell, Ga. As a graduating junior last season, Germaine qualified for the World Cup squad in the fall, and scored a World Cup seventh place in Lake Placid. She, too, underwent successful shoulder surgery immediately after the season. 

Sochi Olympian Aidan Kelly, of West Islip, N.Y., as well as Taylor Morris, of South Jordan, Utah, round out the national B team. Kelly was eighth in the Lake Placid World Cup last December, while Morris took 11th place. 

Graduating junior Riley Stohr, of Whitehall, Mich., has B team status. Stohr has one top 15 World Cup result and has battled shoulder problems the past two years. 

The national C team is comprised of 2010 Olympian Julia Clukey, of Augusta, Maine, and the doubles unit of Jake Hyrns, of Muskegon, Mich. and Anthony Espinoza, of Park City, Utah. 

Clukey has a World Cup silver medal to her credit in February 2013 (and another silver in the team relay), and completed her degree from DeVry University earlier this year. 

Hyrns and Espinoza will enter their second season together this fall. They left the World Cup tour in mid-season last year, returning home for more abundant training on home ice. 

Although the 2016-2017 schedule has not been finalized, the season will be highlighted by the World Championships in Igls, Austria. Also, sleds are anticipated to hit the ice on the new 2018 Olympic track in South Korea.


USA Luge Junior National, C and D teams announced for 2016-2017


New Indiegogo campaign to help fund JNT travel and track fees has already reached $10,000

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – USA Luge has announced its Junior National (JNT), C and D teams, as well as an Indiegogo campaign designed to provide some financial relief for JNT members in defraying travel expenses and track (training) fees.

The JNT is led by singles racers Jonny Gustafson and Grace Weinberg, who contributed to a silver medal in the team relay last season at the 2016 Junior World Championships, as well as a rising athlete, Brittney Arndt, who swept the spring series at Mount Van Hoevenberg.

Gustafson, of Massena, N.Y., also captured the pair of seeding races and Norton Junior National Championships held in March in Lake Placid.

Arndt, of Park City, Utah, like Gustafson, was unbeatable in March. She, too, won both seeding races and the Norton Junior National Championships.

Weinberg, of Pittsfield, Vt., was the silver medal winner behind Arndt across the board: in both seeding events and the junior national championship.

While no one was placed on the JNT A team, all three were chosen for the B team. Also selected for the B team were Elijah Pedriani, of New Haven, Vt., Sean Hollander, of Lake Placid and Ashley Farquharson, of Park City.

Pedriani took bronze in the two seeding races and the Norton Junior National Championships; Hollander was a bronze medalist in the 2016 Norton Youth A National Championships; while Farquharson’s results this past season were identical to Pedriani’s. The Park City racer also participated in the Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer.

To assist these athletes with training and travel costs, USA Luge has embarked on an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that kicked off Tuesday. Donations may be made to:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/2016-17-u-s-junior-national-luge-team-trip/x/3927442#/

The initiative has already reached the halfway point of its goal with over $10,000 contributed.

USA Luge also announced the members of the Junior C and D teams.
 

Junior “C” Team

Men

Women

Sam Day
(Wantagh, N.Y.)

 

Alanson Owen
(Park City, Utah)

Sydney Axton
(Port Byron, N.Y.)

Sophia Kirkby
(Ray Brook, N.Y.)

Zach DiGregorio
(Medway, Mass.)

 

Duncan Segger
(Lake Placid, N.Y.)

Katherine Bishop
(Carlisle, Mass.)

Elana Morrison
(Twin Lake, Mich.)

Garrett Gorsch
(Park City, Utah)

 

Ian Smith
(Carlisle, Mass.)

Chevonne Forgan
(Chelmsford, Mass.)

Courtney Sepucha
(Concord, Mass.)

Keaton Jens
(St. Charles, Ill.)

 

Justin Taylor
(Newark, Del.)

Joan Kemper
(Chicago, Ill.)

Isabel Wiley
(Ossining, N.Y.)

Dana Kellogg
(Williamsburg, Mass.)

Luke Voegeli
(Sun Prairie, Wisc.)

 

 

 

Junior “D” Team

Park City

Lake Placid

Matthew Greiner
(Park City, Utah)

Emma Erickson
(Park City, Utah)

Jett Arp
(Burlington, Vt.)

Dyani Bryant
(Moriah, N.Y.)

Nicholas Iverson
(Park City, Utah)

Sarah Jared
(Glendora, Calif.)

Noah Boggess
(Montague, Mich.)

Emily Cetin
(Barre, Vt.)

William Iverson
(Park City, Utah)

Elizabeth Petersen
(La Crescenta, Calif.)

Eamonn Bottger
(Burlington, Vt.)

Maya Chan
(Chicago, Ill.)

Michael O’Gara
(La Crescenta, Calif.)

 

Aleksandra Verga
(La Crescenta, Calif.)

Will Cox
(Cincinnati, Ohio) 

Molly Loucy
(Milton, Vt.)

Ethan Owen
(Park City, Utah)

 

Sam Eckert
(Jay, N.Y.)

McKenna Mazlo
(Souderton, Pa.)

Crawford Patten
(Oakland, Calif.)

 

Hunter Harris
(E. Fairfield, Vt.)

Hayley Powers
(Washington, D.C.)

Jacob Petersen
(La Crescenta, Calif.)

 

Benjamin Larsen
(N. Chelmsford, Mass.)

Reannyn Weiler
(Whitesboro, N.Y.)

Roy (Chet) Smith
(Park City, Utah)

 

Aidan Mueller
(West Islip, N.Y.)

 

Jacob (Coby) Shpilberg
(Palo Alto, Calif.)

 

Gavin Shamis
(S. Burlington, Vt.)

 

Ian Thomas
(Park City, Utah)

 

Jeffrey Sichler
(Patterson, N.Y.)

 

Roan Thomas
(Park City, Utah)

 

 

 


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