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Glen Rock's Summer Britcher helps U.S. luge team to silver medal in World Cup relay event

  • Summer Britcher helped the U.S. luge team to a World Cup silver medal on Saturday.
  • The Glen Rock woman also finished fifth in a women's World Cup singles event.
  • The World Cup action took place on Saturday in Calgary, Alberta, in Canada.

Glen Rock’s Summer Britcher helped the United States team earn a silver medal Saturday in a World Cup luge relay event at the 1988 Olympic track in Calgary, Alberta, in Canada.

Glen Rock's Summer Britcher races down the track during the women's World Cup luge competition in Calgary, Alberta, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. Britcher finished fifth in the event. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP)

Singles athletes Britcher and Tucker West combined with the doubles team of Chris Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman to form the U.S. team, which finished behind Germany and ahead of Austria in the second relay of the season. Britcher had the second-fastest relay time among the female competitors.

“I was pretty happy with my run,” Britcher said of her relay performance on the USA Luge website. “I didn’t quite have the result that I wanted (Saturday) morning (in women's singles), but I knew we had some great potential for the team relay competition. We all came out pretty strong. We put together quite a race.”

The U.S. relay team improved to third in the season-long World Cup chase with 135 points. Germany leads with 185. Russia, which was fourth Saturday, has 160.

In the earlier women’s singles race, Britcher finished fifth. Julia Taubitz of Germany won the women’s singles event.

Britcher, a two-time Olympian, was in position for a medal in the singles contest. She sat in third place through one heat. Over the top half of her final run, Britcher was accelerating until she got off line and had to play catch-up.

“I am pretty disappointed,” Britcher said on the USA Luge website. “I was sitting in third place after the first run. I knew going into the race that I had a good amount of potential to succeed here. I’ve been on the podium here before. Last year I finished in fifth place and I was hoping for something better, but fifth isn’t too terrible.”

On the season, the Susquehannock High School graduate is sixth in the World Cup women’s singles standings. Germany’s Natalie Geisenberger leads the standings.

The World Cup tour is now set to move on to Lake Placid, New York, for races Saturday and Sunday. Lake Placid is the closest World Cup event to Britcher's Glen Rock home.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.