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Regan Lauscher Qualifies For 2002 Olympics

An Olympic dream came true today for Regan Lauscher (Red Deer, Alberta), Canada’s lone women luger on the Senior National Team. Lauscher, a 20 year old Mount Royal College journalism student now living in Calgary, has claimed her fourth and final Canadian Olympic Association (COA) qualifier with a 12th place finish at World Cup Five in Altenberg, Germany. COA requires four World Cup finishes in the top 12 for women’s Olympic Luge qualification. Lauscher picked up her third qualifier last weekend at World Cup Four in Igls, Austria, and will be the first woman sliding for Canada at the Olympics since Kathy Salmon in Albertville 1992.

“I'm tremendously happy with my fininsh today,” reported Lauscher. “Since this result now qualifies me for the Salt Lake Olympics in 2002, there is a huge amount of pressure taken off my shoulders.”

Lauscher, in just her first year as a Senior, has been steadily climbing in the field of 35 women on the World Cup circuit. She had a two-run combined time of one minute, 49.184 seconds. The German trio of Sylke Otto (1:47.009), Silke Krauschaar (1:47.239) and Sonja Wiedemann (1:47.855) were, once again, on the podium.

Tim Farstad, head of the Olympic Luge Training Centre, “With Tyler Seitz, Chris Moffat, Eric Pothier and now Regan Lauscher qualifying for the 2002 Olympics, we’ve doubled the number of Canadian Olympic Lugers from 1998. The partnership between the Canadian Luge Association, the Calgary Olympic Development Association and others has helped the athletes achieve these excellent results, with more to follow.”

Other good news for Canada was the doubles team of Grant Albrecht (age 19) and Mike Moffat (age 18) with a best ever sixth place finish. They now have two of the four World Cup finishes in the top nine which COA require for doubles luge. Mike Moffat’s older brother Chris, along with partner Eric Pothier (Airdrie, Alberta), finished in 10th place today however they made their final 2002 Olympic qualifier last weekend at World Cup Four. Albrecht and Moffat are junior age sliders (under age 20) competing at the Senior level and are now enroute to Lillehammer, Norway, to represent Canada in the Junior World Championships next weekend.

For full results of World Cup Five Women’s and Doubles competition, see www.fil-luge.org.