Luge Canada

Teenager Embyr-Lee Susko Leads Canadian Contingent with Top-10 Finishes at Eberspächer Luge World Cup in Whistler

Susko slides to ninth in women’s singles, Canadian squad places sixth in Eberspächer Luge World Cup Team Relay presented by BMW

WHISTLER, B.C.—Embyr-Lee Susko introduced herself to the international luge community with three, top-10 finishes on her home track in Whistler, B.C. this weekend.

Competing in just her second Eberspächer Luge World Cup, the 18-year-old backed up a seventh place finish in the women’s double seat sled with an impressive ninth-place performance Saturday morning in women’s singles. She capped off the memorable World Cup weekend by celebrating a sixth-place finish with her teammates in the debut of a women’s doubles sled in the Eberspächer Team Relay presented by BMW.

“I’m super happy. I’ve just been rolling with the punches, taking it as they come pulling double duty. It’s been a lot to switch between (singles and doubles) but it looks like it could be helping me out with the extra runs,” said Susko. “I’m just trying to put down runs and see what can be fast.”

The Whistler speed queen has definitely been fast.

Susko came into the World Cup week on a golden streak, winning three straight Junior World Cup races. The final one came on the 2010 Olympic Track she grew up on. She continued to find the fast line down the 14-corner track on Saturday, sliding to ninth spot at 1:18.404, which also secured her the bronze medal in the America-Pacific Championship that was held in conjunction with the World Cup race.

“I’m just so stoked. Those were two clean runs. Not my best start on the second run, but I’m just so happy with what I was able to put down today,” she said.

Susko was sitting in 12th spot after her first run. She climbed three spots while standing in the leader’s box after the final heat.

“It was a little bit of Whistler magic going on. You can find some secret lines when you slide here a lot,” added Susko. “I've been on this track 12 seasons now so you can definitely find some speed where other nations might not be able to."

The Germans swept the women’s podium. Julia Taubitz was first at 1:18.066. Anna Berreiter snagged the silver medal with a time of 1:18.177, while Merle Fraebel clocked-in at 1:18.179 for the bronze medal.

Trinity Ellis, of Pemberton, B.C., slid to 16th place in time of 1:18.569. Caitlin Nash, of Whistler, B.C., was 18th (1:18.809), while Calgary’s Carolyn Maxwell placed 22nd (1:18.957).

Susko continued her sizzling stretch while reuniting at the top of the hill with Beattie Podulsky, Ellis and a trio of Canadian men from Calgary – Theo Downey, Devin Wardrope and Cole Zajanski – for their first Eberspächer Team Relay presented by BMW. The Canucks clocked a combined time of 2:50.366.

Olympian Trinity Ellis set the tone, sliding first.

“For me, I just get to pull a normal start, so it is kind of nice that way. It’s nice to have the whole team behind me cheering me on before I pull out,” said the 21-year-old Ellis. “It was super cool to be a part of it. The relay is always such a fun event.”

Normally the anchor sled, Canada’s men’s doubles-tandem of Wardrope and Zajanski, were forced to learn a new position in the lineup, going second, with the addition of the women’s two-seater added to the competition.

“It was super weird. We are not used to going after Trinity, but it is something we will get used too with practice and was nice having the first relay with the women’s doubles,” said Zajanski. “It’s been so long since we’ve had a relay so it was nice to get the cobwebs off and hopefully we can just get better and better. Luge is such an individual sport so getting to celebrate with the team just means so much more to each of us.”

The team relay consists of four sleds for each nation – women’s singles, men’s doubles, men’s singles, women’s doubles. Each sled takes a one-run bomb down the track. Athletes hit a paddle over the top of the finish area to signal for the next slider to go. Reaction time at the top of the track is critical to posting a fast time.

Germany won the relay with a time of 2:48.665. Austria was second at 2:49.215 followed by the United States in third with a time of 2:49.311.

Canada’s Alex Gough, Sam Edney, Tristan Walker and Justin Snith won Olympic silver at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games when the Team Relay event was just three sleds.

Complete Eberspächer 2nd Luge World Cup Results: 7

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