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Ridgefield's West Wins Team Silver At Luge World Championships

Tucker West, left, of Ridgefield celebrates with teammates Erin Hamlin, Matt Mortensen and Jayson Terdiman after winning a silver medal in the team relay at the Luge World Championships in Austria on Sunday. Photo Credit: Facebook/Courtesy of USA Luge
Tucker West, second from right, won silver in the relay as part of Team USA at the luge world championships. Photo Credit: Facebook/Courtesy of USA Luge

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — Ridgefield's Tucker West led the United States to a silver medal in the 4-member mixed luge relay Sunday in the 47th annual World Championship in Igls, Austria.

West worked with  Matt Mortensen, Erin Hamlin and Jayson Terdiman to win the silver medal, one of three medals at the championships for the U.S. Germany won gold and Russia won bronze.

Hamlin, who won a bronze medal at the Sochi Olympics, started the relay for the Americans. Her run put the U.S. team in third place. West followed and posted the fastest reaction time out of the gate. His flawless effort gave the U.S. the lead by my more than four tenths of a second over Canada. Mortensen and Terdiman followed and the U.S. retained the overall lead with four teams remaining.

The U.S. set a temporary track record before the Germans came along later to set the record. Germany won the race in 2:08.474, followed by the U.S. in 2:08.664.

The race offered redemption for West, who struggled to a 15th place in the individual race at the World Championships. It was his worst performance by far during the World Cup season for West, who had been riding great all winter.

But he struggled in his runs at Igls, and was not expected to be included on the team relay. Taylor Morris, who finished fifth in singles, yielded his spot in the relay to West.

"“Taylor made the honorable decision to give it to me because he thought that my reaction (time) would be a little quicker,'' West said on the USA Luge website. "I can’t thank him enough for it. But it was nice to get redemption. I was (ticked) off that my sled was not running. I had two clean runs and ended up in 15th place, which is by far, my worst result of the season. I took a little anger into the (relay) run and it seemed to pay off. And I’m glad at how we finished. Team USA, as a whole, had great runs and we’re a force to be reckoned with when that happens.”

Hamlin, from Remsen, N.Y., earned three medals at the World Championships. She won gold in the women's sprint and silver in the women's singles.

Click here to watch the race on the USA Luge website.

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