PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) Raychel Germaine edged Brittany Arndt in a tiebreaker Sunday for the final spot on the team that USA Luge will send onto the World Cup circuit to start the season.
USA Luge held its second and final seeding race on what will be this winter’s Olympic track in South Korea during a training session, using the race to finalize the pool of candidates who are eligible to go back to Pyeongchang for the games in February.
Reigning world sprint champion and 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Erin Hamlin had the lone pre-clinched spot on the team, and it was virtually certain that Summer Britcher and Emily Sweeney were going to qualify through the seeding races as well. That left one women’s spot, which Germaine claimed.
The men’s and doubles lineups to start the World Cup season were also announced, with no surprises.
Returning U.S. Olympians Tucker West and Chris Mazdzer will lead a men’s team that also includes Jonny Gustafson, Taylor Morris and John Fennell – who competed in the Sochi Olympics for Canada. In doubles, the U.S. teams will be Matt Mortensen with Jayson Terdiman, Jake Hyrns with Anthony Espinoza, and Justin Krewson with Andrew Sherk.
The World Cup schedule opens on Nov. 18 in Igls, Austria, the start of a frenzied five-week period before USA Luge formally nominates its Olympic team for the Pyeongchang Games on Dec. 16. There are World Cups in Germany over the last weekend of November and first weekend of December, followed by the North American swing that starts in Calgary, Alberta starting on Dec. 8 and moves to Lake Placid, New York beginning on Dec. 15.
The seeding races were moved several times over the last few weeks because of weather problems, including sand on a track in Canada and warm weather affecting the ice in Lake Placid.