Bill and Carrie Britcher talk about their daughter's return to the Olympic luge competition. The York Dispatch
Glen Rock's Summer Britcher appears primed to make a serious run at an Olympic medal.
Britcher, in her sixth-and-final Olympic training run on Sunday, Feb. 11, posted the fastest time among all the competitors at 46.367 seconds. That was .114 ahead of second-place Natalie Geisenberger of Germany, who is the World Cup champion and the strong favorite for the gold medal.
Britcher's performance on Sunday in South Korea was a significant improvement over her previous five training runs, which were as follows:
Training run No. 5 on Sunday, seventh, :46.763.
Training run No. 4 on Saturday, 10th, :47.804.
Training run No. 3 on Saturday, 12th, :48.085.
Training run No. 2 on Friday, seventh, :47.094.
Training run No. 1 on Friday, second, :47.003.
Britcher and her American teammates, Erin Hamlin and Emily Sweeney, had been struggling on the treacherous ninth turn on the Olympic track, but that turned around a bit on Sunday for Britcher.
"Training (Saturday) was a little bit rough (with 10th- and 12th-place finishes), so we made some changes overnight, got a little bit closer the first run (Sunday, with a seventh-place finish), made some more changes (finishing first in the second run on Sunday) and I think everything is finally where it needs to be, just in the nick of time," Britcher said in a video posted by USA Luge.
This is the second Winter Olympics for the 23-year-old Susquehannock High School graduate, who placed 15th in Russia in 2014.
Britcher has improved significantly since then and placed third in the overall World Cup women's luge standings this season.
The official women's luge competition starts at 5:50 a.m. Monday with the first two runs. The final two runs start at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Reach Steve Heiser at firstname.lastname@example.org.