Glen Rock's Summer Britcher earns her first medal of the World Cup luge season

Summer Britcher of the United State celebrates after her 2nd run during a women's race at the Luge World Cup event in Innsbruck, Austria, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Andreas Schaad)

Glen Rock’s Summer Britcher earned her first medal of the 2020-2021 World Cup luge season on Sunday.

Britcher won a bronze in the women’s singles competition in Igls, Austria. It was the first medal of the truncated season for any American competitor. The U.S. team missed the first half of the World Cup luge season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Britcher, a two-time Olympian, returned later in the day and nearly made it a double bronze, finishing fourth in the sprint competition behind three Germans. Britcher was just 0.01 of a second from another podium finish.

“It felt really good,” the five-time World Cup winner said on the USA Luge website. “I’ve had fun racing, but a little frustrated with myself. More than looking for results, I try to have runs that I’m really proud of and then no matter what the result I can be happy. I haven’t felt that way with the races so far. It’s been hard missing the first half of the season (because of the COVID-19 pandemic) to get back into the swing of things, but today, the sun’s shining, the mountains are beautiful, I have great teammates, a great mood, and I was able to throw down two runs that I could be proud of.”

Britcher, a Susquehannock High School graduate, has steadily improved her World Cup efforts this month, going from 15th to 10th to seventh to third.

Germany’s Natalie Geisenberger won Sunday’s women’s singles race, while teammate Julia Taubitz finished second. Taublitz took the sprint competition, followed by Geisenberger and Dajana Eitberger.

There are two weekends left in luge season. The world championships are this coming weekend in Konigssee, Germany, and the World Cup finale is Feb. 4-6 in St. Moritz.

Reach Steve Heiser at USA Luge contributed information to this report.