Canada's Regan Lauscher Shatters Canadian Record in Luge Marathon at World Cup in Calgary
-Two Canadian men's doub
With a start time of 1 p.m. MST, the first runs were cancelled after 16 athletes, in a field of 22, looked like a pinball while reaching speeds up to 120 kilometres/hour as high-forced winds bounced them off the walls on the track. The race then experienced two more wind delays before athletes were recalled to the start for the third time at 6 p.m. MST to complete a condensed event from two runs, to a one-run shoot out.
When the athletes finally got the green light to slide, the winds died, the temperatures dropped and the track became slick. Canada's Regan Lauscher was the first to set a new track record on the day with a time of 47.365. The mark was later beat six more times, pushing the 23-year-old Red Deer, Alta. native into seventh spot, and the Canadian track record under her belt.
"That was a really solid run for me today and I am very happy," said Lauscher, who was making her season debut after staying back in Calgary to complete her semester in journalism school instead of joining the team in Europe for the first two events of the season. "I was curious to see how I was going to do, and then it became a frustrating day being put up in the start, getting warmed up and then facing another delay. But, you have to expect the unexpected and deal with what you are given. I'm happy and excited for the rest of the season."
The legendary German female luger, Sylke Otto, who has won everything on the luge agenda throughout her career including the gold at the 2002 Olympics, leaves CODA's Canada Olympic Park with the new track record at 46.817. Otto's teammate Barbara Niedernhuber was .157 seconds off the pace in second (46.974), while Austria's Veronika Orlova prevented a German sweep, grabbing third with a time of 47.191.
Other results by Canadian women included: Madison Dupuis of Calgary in 12th place (47.784); Regina's Meaghan Simister in 15th (48.142); and Calgary's Monica Gorham in 17th spot (48.515).
Earlier in the day, Canada's young doubles team of Sam Edney and Gwyn Lewis blew through the track as fast as the wind on a sunny Saturday morning, crossing the finish with a two-run time of 1:29.314, good enough for a seventh-place result on their home ice.
"This is our best result by a long shot. We won the Junior World Cup here last year and we were expecting to do pretty well today," said Edney, a 19-year-old Calgarian, who is competing in his first season on the World Cup in doubles with fellow Calgarian Lewis (17). "This helps our confidence as we head off for the rest of the season, and keep qualifying for doubles events."
Two more Canadian youngsters from Calgary, Marshall Savill and Winston Davis, also posted their best-ever World Cup result, finishing 10th with a time of 1:29.826. Canada's veterans in men's doubles, Grant Albrecht of Red Deer, Alta. and Eric Pothier of Airdrie, Alta., ended a frustrating day in 13th spot of the 15 sleds entered in the competition. The two have been tinkering with their sled since their return from Europe, which had a direct effect on their performance at home.
The German's also dominated men's doubles action, capturing the first two podium positions. Andre Florschütz and Torsten Wustlich crossed the line first with a total time of 1:28.796, with teammates Patric Leitner and Alexander Resch not far behind in second at 1:28.801. Third place on the podium went to Italy's Christian Oberstolz and Patrick Gruber, who blasted down the track in a time of 1:28.921.
It was a successful weekend for the Canadian Luge Team, the youngest team in the world, who are proving they can compete with the best in the sport from European countries each weekend.
"We're very happy with all the results we saw this weekend. These kids have made it to the show, and they demonstrated a lot of maturity with the way they competed and defended their home track," said Walter Corey, Canada's new head coach. "Everyone that had a chance to compete this weekend learned something they can take with them for the rest of the season."
The squad heads to Salt Lake City, Utah Monday for the next competition on the Viessmann Luge World Cup, December 13-14, 2003.
MEN'S DOUBLES RESULTS:
WOMEN'S FINAL RESULTS:
The Canadian Luge Associaton is the governing body for luge racing in Canada. In partnership with CODA, the Canadian Luge Association operates the Olympic Luge Training Centre at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, which develops our nation's high-performance luge athletes and promotes the sport across the country. For more information on the Canadian Luge Association, please visit us at www.luge.ca on the Internet.