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Glen Rock's Summer Britcher experiences up-and-down day during World Cup luge action

STEVE HEISER
717-505-5446/@ydsports
  • Summer Britcher led Saturday's World Cup women's luge race after the first run.
  • Her second run, however, didn't go nearly as well. She finished 18th overall.
  • Britcher remains in fourth place in the overall World Cup women's luge standings.
Summer Britcher of United States speeds down the track during a women's race at the Luge World Cup event in Sigulda, Latvia, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020. Britcher placed first after the first run. (AP Photo/Roman Koksarov)

After the first run Saturday, Glen Rock's Summer Britcher appeared ready to win her sixth World Cup women's luge gold medal.

The second run, however, didn't go nearly as well for the Susquehannock High School graduate.

Britcher, a two-time Olympian, had the top time in the first run in the event in Sigulda, Latvia. She struggled during her second run, however, dropping all the way to 18th place. That meant she didn't qualify for Sunday's women's sprint race. Only the top 15 finishers on Saturday earned berths in the sprint competition on Sunday.

Germany's Julia Taubitz pulled off a big rally in the second heat to win Saturday's race, making the contest with Tatyana Ivanova of Russia for the overall season-long championship even tighter.

Taubitz finished in first, Ivanova was second and Eliza Cauce of Latvia was third on her home track for her best finish of the season by far. Ivanova’s lead over Taubitz was trimmed to 17 points in the overall standings, and they are the only two serious contenders remaining in the race for the points title.

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Another Russian, Victoriia Demchenko, finished fourth on Saturday and sits in third place in the overall season standings, followed by Britcher, who remains in fourth place on the strength of three World Cup silver medals this season.

Emily Sweeney was the top American finisher on Saturday, placing 15th. She is sixth in the overall standings.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.