LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Glen Rock's Summer Britcher is headed to her second straight Winter Olympics.

The Susquehannock High School graduate clinched her berth on the United States women's luge team on Thursday evening when her American teammate, Raychel Germaine, the only other U.S. woman who could have possibly bumped Britcher from the Olympic team, failed to qualify for Saturday's women's World Cup race in Lake Placid, New York.

"It takes a little pressure off," Britcher said. "But I'm really upset that Raychel isn't able to race."

Britcher will be joined on the U.S. women's luge team by 2014 bronze medalist Erin Hamlin and and Emily Sweeney. Hamlin clinched her spot last month, and Britcher and Sweeney got theirs on Thursday night when Germaine failed to qualify.

In Saturday's World Cup action in Lake Placid, Britcher finished in eighth place, while Hamlin was sixth and Sweeney was 17th. World Cup leader Natalie Geisenberger won the event, followed by Alex Gough of Canada and Kimberley McRae of Canada.

In the overall World Cup standings, Britcher stands fifth after the Lake Placid action. Geisenberger leads those standings, followed by Gough, McRae and Germany's Dajana Eitberger. Sweeney is sixth and Hamlin is ninth.

Britcher finished 15th in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. She's hoping to better that finish at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Breaking onto the scene: After her 15th-place result at the Sochi Olympics in 2014, Britcher really broke onto the luge scene during the 2015-16 World Cup season.

After finishing 12th in the 2014-15 World Cup standings, Britcher announced her arrival with the world's best in 2015-16. During that campaign, at the halfway point of the 12-event schedule, Britcher sat atop the standings, before eventually finishing in fifth overall, one spot behind Hamlin.

Difficult 2016-17: Trying to build off her strong 2015-16 season, Britcher went into the 2016-17 World Cup schedule with lofty expectations. However, she never quite captured that same form from the previous season as she dealt with a nagging shoulder injury. 

Britcher elected to skip the final event of the season in Altenberg, German. Even by skipping that final race and dealing with the shoulder injury, Britcher still finished 10th overall and as the third-highest American.

A healthy Britcher has bounced back this season after a slow start, when she failed to qualify for the opening World Cup event in Innsbruck, Austria. She followed that up with a third-place World Cup finish in Winterberg, Germany. She also finished second that same weekend in a sprint race in Winterberg.

The 2018 Games in South Korea are set for Feb. 9-25. The women's luge event is scheduled for Feb. 12-13.

 

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE