Four Americans, including Augusta’s Julia Clukey, secured top-10 finishes Saturday as the Viessmann Luge World Cup circuit stopped at Mount Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid, New York.
Reigning Olympic champion Natalie Geisenberger of Germany won the women’s singles event amid heavy snow by nearly a half-second on the 1980 Olympic course. She had the fastest times in both of the two heats that made up the event, finishing with a combined clocking of 1 minute, 28.173 seconds.
Erin Hamlin of Remsen, New York, the 2014 Olympic bronze medalist, was second, 0.499 seconds back of Geisenberger in 1:28.672, and after German racers took the next two positions Americans secured three of the next four places.
Emily Sweeney, a Portland native now living in Suffield, Connecticut, finished fifth in 1:28.951 while 2014 U.S. Olympian Summer Britcher of Glen Rock, Pennsylvania, was sixth in 1:28.961 and Clukey was eighth among the 17 contestants from around the world in 1:29.330, 1.157 seconds behind Geisenberger.
Clukey had the ninth-fastest time of each run, 44.614 seconds for the first run and 44.716 seconds for the final run.
There was even bigger news for the U.S. luge team a day earlier as Tucker West of Ridgefield, Connecticut, became the first American to win a World Cup luge singles victory since 1997 when he put down the two fastest times of the day to defeat runner-up Wolfgang Kindl of Austria by 0.77 seconds.
The 18-year-old West also became the youngest World Cup singles winner in U.S. team history.
Dominik Fischnaller of Italy was third, more than a second behind West, with Chris Mazdzer of Saranac Lake, New York, an agonizing 0.02 of a second from his third career World Cup podium in fourth place.
The next round of the Viessmann World Cup will be held this coming Friday and Saturday in Calgary, Canada.