Glen Rock's Summer Britcher off to strong start during 2019-2020 World Cup luge season
- Glen Rock's Summer Britcher is second in the World Cup women's luge standings.
- Britcher won a luge sprint silver medal on Sunday in Lake Placid, New York.
- She also won a World Cup silver medal the previous weekend in Igls, Austria.
Two weekends, two silver medals.
That's the Summer Britcher story during the early part of the 2019-2020 World Cup luge season.
The two-time Olympian from Glen Rock won a women's sprint silver medal on Sunday while competing on the Americans' home track at Mount Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid, New York.
That followed a fourth-place finish on Saturday in the regular women's luge race in Lake Placid.
The previous weekend, in the World Cup luge opener in Igls, Austria, Britcher also captured a silver medal in the regular luge competition.
After two weekends of action, the Susquehannock High School graduate is second in the overall World Cup women's luge standings with 230 points, trailing only Germany's Julia Taubitz, who has 270 points.
Britcher's effort over the weekend in Lake Placid was just part of a standout effort by the American team.
Tucker West and Emily Sweeney both capped double-medal weekends on Sunday.
West won silver medals on Sunday in both the men’s race and men’s sprint. Sweeney added a bronze in the women’s sprint on Sunday to her women’s silver from Saturday.
Over the weekend in New York, Germany won six medals, followed by the U.S. with five and Austria with three.
Taubitz led the Germans with two golds — winning the women’s sprint on Sunday, after prevailing in the women’s regular race Saturday. Taubitz was the lone non-American in the top four of the women’s sprint, with Britcher second, Sweeney third and Ashley Farquharson fourth with by far her best World Cup finish.
“We’ve always had a strong (women’s) team at the World Cup level since I’ve been in the program,” Britcher said on the USA Luge website. “It feels good to know even if you mess up, you’ve got your team right there and you’re going to have the results."
Russia’s Roman Repilov won the men’s sprint, his fourth career gold at Mount Van Hoevenberg, while Lativan brothers Andris Sics and Juris Sics won the doubles sprint gold earlier Sunday.
That was Latvia’s first gold at Mount Van Hoevenberg, which has hosted a total of 60 different international luge events.
Also Sunday, Austria’s Jonas Mueller won his second consecutive World Cup men’s luge race of the season, narrowly holding off West for the gold. Mueller went on later in the day to win bronze in the men’s sprint, edging Olympic silver medalist Chris Mazdzer of the U.S. for the final medal spot in that event.
Italy’s Dominik Fischnaller won the men’s bronze.
The five medals over the weekend for the Americans gave them 30 in international luge events at Mount Van Hoevenberg, moving the U.S. past Italy for second in the all-time standings. Germany is far and away the leader, now with 68 medals on Lake Placid’s 20-year-old track.