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Canadian National Team Inaugurates the New Season at Canada Olympic Park

Canada's finest luge athletes were vying for the right to be called "best in the Country" at the Canadian Luge Championships, held earlier today at Canada Olympic Park. For the new Canadian National team, this was the inaugural race of the 2002-2003 season.

In the men's event, former Olympian Tyler Seitz reclaimed his Canadian title with a time of 1:32.441. Seitz was followed by Jorgen Krause, of Calgary and veteran team member, Jeff Christie.

With his second place finish, Krause claimed the right to compete as fifth man at Second Viessmann World Cup, which will be held in Calgary later this month.

Veteran women's team member, Regan Lauscher of Red Deer, reclaimed her championship title with a time of 1:31.661. She was joined on the podium by the youngest member of the women's national team, 15-year old Madison Dupuis and Calgary's Monica Gorham.

Former Olympians Grant Albrecht, of Calgary, and Eric Pothier, of Airdrie, won the doubles competition with a time of 1:30.06. Although both athletes have been Canadian national team members for 4 years, this is the first year they will be sliding together. Veteran slider Bob Gasper and partner Joe Mack finished second while the rookie duo of Sam Edney and Gwyn Lewis took third place. Winston Davis and Marshall Savill crashed in the final turn and did not finish.

In the men's open singles event, Bob Gasper took the gold medal with a time of 1:33.889. Mike Jepson and Dan Browrigg, both of Calgary, finished second and third respectively. Noah Wesche, Aaron Christensen Brendan Hauptman, all form British Columbia, joined the development team earlier this year thanks to the "Legacies Now" program.

The 2002-2003 squad is the strongest-ever Canadian luge team, and the deepest. "This is the first time in recent Canadian luge history that we have three international-calibre female athletes," said Tim Farstad, Canadian Luge Association/Olympic Luge Training Centre Coordinator. "The depth of the pool of talent that we are enjoying, and the high level of preparedness of our young athletes, is a real
tribute to the development and legacies programs."

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Source: Jennifer Pashniak, CLA
Information: Tim Farstad, CLA-OLTC (403) 616-1397 or gsnefgnq@pbqn.no.pn