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REGAN LAUSCHER SLIDES TO BEST-EVER FINISH ON HOME TRACK AT VIESSMANN LUGE WORLD CUP IN CALGARY

—Canada’s Lauscher finishes fourth, German women win 67th straight race—Canada’s Regan Lauscher posted a Canadian track record and came within fractions of a second of sliding onto the podium for the second time in her career at the 2006 Viessmann Luge World Cup in Calgary on Friday night.

The Red Deer, Alta. native, who sat in fifth position after clocking a new Canadian track record on the Olympic Track in Calgary at 47.005 seconds after her opening run, moved up one spot despite a disappointing second heat. The 26-year-old settled for fourth place, and her best finish at home with a two-run time of one minute 34.329 seconds.

“The track record is definitely bittersweet,” said Lauscher, who was sliding in just her second World Cup race of the season after committing to a condensed schedule to restore her energy for the drive towards the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. “Calgary is a track that I expect to do well on, and it is one track in the world I know as well as anyone so, I have to expect a lot from myself here.”

Lauscher made two key errors during her second run, and was poised for a fifth-place finish until the legendary Sylke Otto, of Germany, and first run leader, nearly crashed mid-way down her second run falling well off the leading mark. Otto’s mishap moved Lauscher into fourth place in the final standings.

“You don’t like to see that happen to one of your competitors, but it is good to move up the standings a bit despite my performance,” said Lauscher. “Fourth is good, but I know I can get back onto the podium, and I have no choice but to be disappointed with myself.”

The German women continued their dominance of the Viessmann Luge World Cup, winning their 67th consecutive title, and another sweep of the podium. Tatjana Hûfner finished on top of the pack after stopping the clock at 1:33.649. Hûfner’s teammate, Silke Kraushaar-Pielach was second at 1.33.932, while Anke Wishchewski rounded out the podium at 1:34.065.

Two other Canadian women slid out of the start house on Friday night at CODA’s Canada Olympic Park. Regina’s Meaghan Simister, who continues to clock some of the fastest start times on the World Cup circuit, held on for 17th spot (1:35.518), while Calgary teenager, Alex Gough, did not finish after crashing on her second run.

In men’s doubles action it was Germany’s Patrick Leitner and Alexander Resch who slid to their first World Cup victory of the season after posting a time of 1:27.315. The golden performance in Calgary brings their career victory total to 24. Italy’s Christian Oberstolz and Patrick Gruber settled for the silver medal position (1:27.763), while Austria’s Tobias and Markus Schiegl claimed third at 1:27.885.

The brother tandem of Chris and Mike Moffat finished in 11th spot after clocking a two-run time of 1:28.347 to finish as the top Canucks. Grant Albrecht, of Red Deer, Alta., and Eric Pothier, of Airdrie, Alta., were the only other Canadian sled entered in the race, and finished in 14th spot at 1:29.170.

The Viessmann Luge World Cup continues on Saturday in Calgary with the men’s singles race at 3 p.m.

The Canadian Luge Association is the governing body for luge racing in Canada.

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.

COMPLETE RESULTS: www.fil-luge.org

Women’s Singles Top-Five and Canadian Results:

1. Tatjana Hûfner, GER, 1:33.649; 2. Silke Kraushaar-Pielach, GER, 1:33.932; 3. Anke Wischnewski, GER, 1:34.065; 4. Regan Lauscher, Red Deer, Alta., CAN, 1:34.329, 5. Veronika Halder, AUT, 1:34.332.

Other Canadian Women Results:

17. Meaghan Simister, Regina, 1:35.518; DNF. Alex Gough, Calgary.

Men’s Top-Five Doubles and Canadian Results:

1. Leitner/Resch, GER, 1:27.315; 2. Oberstolz/Gruber, ITA, 1:27.763;
3. Schiegl/Schiegl, AUT, 1:27.885; 4. Forschûtz/Wustlich, GER, 1:27.940; 5. Grimmette/Martin, USA, 1:27.965.

Other Canadian Results:

11. Moffat/Moffat, Calgary, 1:28.347; 14. Albrecht, Red Deer, Alta./Pothier, Airdrie, Alta., 1:29.170.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Chris Dornan
Media and Public Relations
Canadian Luge Association
T: 403-470-9546
E-mail: pqbeana@pbqn.pn