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US Luge team hands out annual awards

November 8, 2017
Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - At its recent annual meetings of the United States Luge Association Board of Directors and ensuing Assembly, yearly awards were issued for the 2016-2017 competitive season.

The following athletes were duly highlighted for their performances last winter.

Tucker West was named Male Athlete of the Year on the strength of his two World Cup wins and a pair of fourth-place race finishes.

Article Photos

From left, Summer Britcher, Tucker West, Jayson Terdiman and Matt Mortensen react after claiming the bronze medal in last year’s World Cup luge team relay at Mount Van Hoevenberg, outside of Lake Placid.
(News file photo — Justin A. Levine)

Erin Hamlin, Female Athlete of the Year, won two World Cup events on her way to a fourth place overall rank. The 2014 Olympic bronze medalist also scored a team record three medals at the 2017 World Championships, giving her a total of four career medals at worlds.

The Doubles Team of the Year was Matt Mortensen and Jayson Terdiman. The highest ranked American sled in the World Cup, Mortensen and Terdiman had two silver medals in doubles races, the second of which on the final day of the season, dramatically elevated them to third place on the World Cup season.

Hamlin, West, Mortensen and Terdiman were the Team Relay Team of the Year, collaborating for the silver medal in the Igls, Austria world championship in January. The race also became noteworthy for the selfless acts of three teammates, who surrendered their places in the team relay, in favor of athletes they felt would give USA Luge a better chance of medaling.

Taylor Morris and the doubles team of Justin Krewson and Andrew Sherk were correct. The trio had rightfully claimed spots in the relay based on faster single runs in the earlier discipline events. But all three agreed that their teammates could provide a better chance at a podium result.

After the silver medal achievement, West, Mortensen and Terdiman were thankful and humbled by their teammates' selflessness.

Brittney Arndt collected the honor for Junior Female Athlete of the Year. Sean Rogers was awarded the Justin Matarese Award, given yearly to the most determined junior competitor. Sam Eckert was the east's Most Improved Junior Athlete, and Ian Thomas got the Most Improved Junior Athlete Award in the west. The Junior Male Athlete of the Year was not awarded for 2016-2017.

The recipient of the John Jenkins Sports Passion Award was Ron Rossi. Jenkins was a USA Luge pioneer. The award honors people who possess an undying commitment and passion for the sport. Rossi has displayed this for some 40 years, starting with his competitive days that brought him to the 1984 Winter Olympics, and later as the organization's former CEO for over three decades. He is currently the controller for USA Curling.

The Sam Venezia Volunteer Spirit Award went to Cynthea Hausman for her passionate commitment to the organization's social media presence.



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