Mazdzer, Britcher win USA Luge national championships
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) — Olympic silver medalist Chris Mazdzer won his eighth USA Luge national championship on Saturday, kickstarting the official start to his competitive season.
Summer Britcher won the women’s national title, the second of her career.
Mazdzer was the easy winner in the men’s competition, with the combined time of 3 minutes, 27.305 seconds in his four runs at Mount Van Hoevenberg topping runner-up Jonny Gustafson by 0.86 seconds. Tucker West was third, just over one second off Mazdzer’s pace.
“The four runs were really good,” said Mazdzer, who will be competing in singles and doubles on the World Cup circuit this season. “I honestly wasn’t expecting to have that consistent runs based on the fact that I was going doubles to singles, but it was doubles that I was having the hardest time with. It’s really nice that singles still feels good and it’s still there.”
Britcher finished her four runs in 2:58.408, which put her about a half-second better than runner-up Brittney Arndt. Raychel Germaine was third.
“It’s definitely a great way to start the season,” Britcher said.
The end of national championships also completed the process of securing spots on the World Cup roster. Mazdzer, Gustafson and West will represent the U.S. men, while Britcher, Arndt, Germaine and Emily Sweeney are on the U.S. women’s team for World Cups.
Sweeney did not race at nationals, while she continues to work her way back from a scary crash at the Pyeongchang Olympics earlier this year. It’s expected that she will also miss the start of the season, then join the World Cup when the tour that starts with three November races in Europe comes to North America for two stops in December.
The U.S. is sending one doubles sled to World Cup, that one occupied by Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman.