USA TAKES BRONZE IN FINAL RELAY OF THE WORLD CUP SEASON
by Lauren Howe
West finishes season in top ten overall World Cup standings
WINTERBERG, Germany—The United States relay squad of Emily Sweeney, Tucker West, Zack DiGregorio, and Sean Hollander won the bronze medal in the final event of the 2022-23 FIL World Cup season. It was the second consecutive podium appearance for the relay team and their third of the season.
West was the lone entry in the men’s singles competition. He placed 16th.
Sweeney (Lake Placid, N.Y.) was the first to pull from the start for the United States. She made minor mistakes at the start and finish of the run, but still managed to post the third fastest time among the women competing. West (Ridgefield, Conn.), and the team of DiGregorio (Medway, Mass.) and Hollander (Lake Placid, N.Y) followed up with clean runs and quick reaction times. The team hit the paddle at two minutes 23.570 seconds.
“We just finished the season in Winterberg with a bronze medal effort in the team relay,” said West, a three-time World Cup winner in men’s singles. “The team did really great and had a good relay.”
“We were pretty happy with that run after a pretty rough day yesterday,” said 2022 Olympian Hollander. “We are just happy that we could do this in the team relay.”
“I didn’t have the great run so thanks to these guys for anchoring it, but overall, I’m really proud of the team for the season and it’s time to go back to America,” said Sweeney, the winner of four World Cup medals in women’s singles this season.
“Thank you all for the support and for following along and everything. It’s been a really good year,” said 2022 Olympian DiGregorio.
It was a particularly strong weekend for the Austrians, with seven medals, including three golds, on the German’s home ice. Madeleine Egle, Jonas Mueller and the doubles team of Thomas Gatt and Martin Schöpf, convincingly won the gold medal in 2:22.732 for Austria. Germany’s Anna Berreiter, Max Langenhan and Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt took the silver in 2:23.291.
Heading into today’s relay, the United States held a 25-point advantage over the Austrians in the overall World Cup relay points chase. However, with Austria’s victory in the final event, they moved five points in front of the United States to take third with 340. The U.S. squad finished the season in fourth place with 335 points.
Germany brought home the World Cup relay championship trophy with 540 points, Latvia took second with 470, and Austria was third with 340.
Despite missing the first half of the season due to a hand injury, Max Langenhan of Germany finished with his sixth consecutive gold medal today. Along the way, he broke a track record set in 2018 by teammate and three-time Olympic gold medalist Felix Loch. Langenhan set the track record in 51.640 seconds on his first run and crossed the finish line with a two-run combined time of 1:43.364. Reigning World Champion Jonas Mueller of Austria placed second in 1:43.543, and his teammate Nico Gleirscher placed third in 1:43.603.
Three-time Olympian West posted two of the best start times of the race. He finished in 16th place with a time of 1:44.981 after a combination of sled set up issues and small mistakes saw him lose time.
2022 Olympic bronze medalist Dominik Fischnaller of Italy brought home his first overall World Cup trophy with 812 points, followed by Loch in second with 767. Langenhan placed third with 685 points.
West led the U.S. athletes placing in tenth place with 459 points. Jonny Gustafson (Massena, N.Y.) ended his season with 327 points in 15th. 2018 Olympic silver medalist Chris Mazdzer only competed in North America and finished his season with 114 points in 27th place.
The U.S. squad will head to Park City, Utah for more training and equipment testing through March 12. Meanwhile, the Norton Youth and Junior National Championships will take place in Lake Placid on March 4-5 and 11-12, respectively. The season will officially close with the Master’s National Championships on April 2, also in Lake Placid.
To relive the entire 2022-2023 World Cup and World Championship season, please visit the FIL’s YouTube channel: