Team USA earns three top four finishes in Park City
by Lauren Howe
Above: DiGregorio/Hollander, West and Britcher/Sweeney. AP Photo
PARK CITY, Utah— Team USA fought hard but just missed the podium in men’s singles, men’s doubles, and women’s doubles as the first EberspächerWorld Cup since 2019 in the United States kicked-off in Park City on Friday.
Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken of Germany took the top spot for the second consecutive weekend, earning the gold medal with a time of one minute 26.789 seconds. The podium was then a reversal of last week’s results in Whistler, with the silver medal going to Austria’s Thomas Gatt and Martin Schöpf, with a time of 1:26.822. The bronze medal went to the German team of Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt with a time of 1:26.867.
Landing in fourth and earning their best result ever was the U.S. men’s doubles team of Zack DiGregorio and Sean Hollander. DiGregorio, of Medway, Mass., and Hollander, of Lake Placid, N.Y., finished in 1:27.039.
“It’s been a great day and getting fourth place is huge coming from eighth place last week,” said DiGregorio. “It’s really good to get another steppingstone and getting our best result ever.” Hollander added, “It felt great to have nice consistent runs and put those down for all the friends and family here so we’re happy with it.”
Dana Kellogg and Duncan Segger also earned a best ever result, placing eighth with a time of 1:27.349. Kellogg, of Chesterfield, Mass., and Segger, of Lake Placid, were happy with their performance today.
“This was our best result, and we were on fire with our sliding,” said Segger. “Our first run wasn’t really what we were looking for, but on the second run we really laid it down, so it felt really good sliding in Park City.”
“This was definitely a big confidence booster, showing we could break into the top ten in the World Cup, and it felt really good to get in eighth,” added Kellogg.
DiGregorio/Hollander and Kellogg/Segger will compete in tomorrow’s sprint competition.
Gatt/Schöpf are tied with Eggert/Benecken in overall World Cup standings with 315 points. Wendl/Arlt are in third with 244 points. DiGregorio/Hollander are eighth with 183 points, and Kellogg/Segger are 15th with 98 points.
Italian World Cup leaders Andrea Vötter and Marion Oberhofer won gold with a time of 1:28.302. German’s Jessica Degenhardt and Cheyenne Rosenthal placed second with a time of 1:28.905, and Canada’s Caitlin Nash and Natalie Coreless took the bronze medal with a time of 1:28.955.
Three American women’s doubles teams competed for the first time in FIL World Cup competition in front of a home crowd, with Summer Britcher, of Glen Rock, Pa., and Emily Sweeney, of Lake Placid, placing fourth with a time of 1:28.969. Maya Chan, of Chicago, Ill., and Reannyn Weiler, of Whitesboro, N.Y., placed fifth with a time of 1:29.000, and Chevonne Forgan, of Chelmsford, Mass., and Sophie Kirkby, of Ray Brook, N.Y., placing seventh with a time of 1:29.375.
Vötter/Oberhofer took the lead in overall World Cup standings with 355 points from Egle/Kipp who are now in second with 335 points. Degenhardt/Rosenthal remain in third with 276 points. The Americans all moved up from last week’s overall standings, with Britcher/Sweeney in fourth place earning 235 points, Chan/Weiler in fifth with 197 points, and Forgan/Kirkby in sixth with 189 points.
Italy’s Dominik Fischnaller stood at the top of the podium for the first time this season, winning the gold medal with a time of 1:30.068, bumping Germany’s Felix Loch into second place with a time of 1:30.253. David Gleirscher of Austria was third with a time of 1:30.272.
Tucker West of Ridgefield, Conn., led the U.S. men, placing fourth, with a time of 1:30.315.
2018 Olympic silver medalist Chris Mazdzer, of Salt Lake City, Utah, who is only racing in North America during the 2022-2023 season, placed 10th. Jonny Gustafson, of Massena, N.Y. placed 15th.
Despite his fifth-place finish in Park City, Wolfgang Kindl remains at the top of the overall World Cup point standings with 310 points. Fischnaller is in second with 295 points, and Nico Gleirscher is in third with 270 points. U.S. athletes are led by West in eighth with 175 points, Gustafson in 11th with 150 points, and Mazdzer in 15th with 72 points.
World Cup action continues in Park City tomorrow with the women’s singles and sprint races. World Championships are slated to take place in Oberhof, Germany on January 27-29, 2023. CNBC will air coverage of the race on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 12 PM ET. To watch the races live and to view archived competitions, please visit the FIL’s YouTube channel:https://www.youtube.com/@FILLuge_Channel. The entire World Cup and World Championship season can be accessed from this portal.