LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) — Brittney Arndt and Ashley Farquharson grabbed the last two available spots on USA Luge’s World Cup roster on Friday, rounding out the 10-person team that is going to Europe with plans of competing in the final six races of the season starting in January.
Arndt and Farquharson clinched their spots after a two-day series of trial races at Mount Van Hoevenberg.
The rest of the roster: Emily Sweeney and Summer Britcher in women’s races; 2018 Olympic silver medalist Chris Mazdzer, Tucker West and Jonny Gustafson for men’s events; and in doubles, Mazdzer with Jayson Terdiman on one sled, Dana Kellogg and Duncan Segger on another.
“I’m happy with where I finished … I am also very excited to finally head over to Europe for World Cups after Christmas,” Arndt said.
All 10 World Cup-bound Americans have experience on the circuit. Kellogg, Segger and Farquharson all made their World Cup debuts last season.
“I’m very excited to have made my second World Cup team and can’t wait to see what the second half of the season has in store for us,” Farquharson said.
The U.S. elected to skip the season’s first four World Cup races, three in Germany and one in Austria, because of concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic and international travel. If all goes to plan, the Americans would be competing in five World Cups — starting with the Jan. 2-3 weekend in Königssee, Germany — as well as the world championships, which are also in Königssee at the end of January.
“While COVID-19 is still a serious risk, I think we are making the right call by going over to race, and I know we will be as safe as possible the entire time,” Arndt said. “It’s been difficult sitting out the first half so I’m very anxious to get over there.”
USA Bobsled and Skeleton also has not competed in World Cup events this season because of the pandemic and concerns about travel. The four-man bobsled team trials are scheduled to finish early next week in Lake Placid, and USABS — just like USA Luge — plans to go to Europe following the Christmas break for the second half of the World Cup season and the world championships in February.