USA Luge announces Fall 2023 National Team
by Lauren Howe
Team includes eight Olympians, welcomes two graduating juniors
LAKE PLACID, N.Y.— Today, USA Luge announced the members of the 2023 National Team. The group features eight Olympic athletes and hopes to continue the team’s success from last season, which resulted in nine medals and 58 top ten World Cup finishes, including 11 top ten finishes at the World Championships.
Joining the squad will be two graduating Juniors. They were named to the team at the coaching staff's discretion and are eligible for this status when they age out of the Junior category.
Emily Sweeney, who led the U.S team during the 2022 World Cup season by collecting medals in women’s singles, sprint, and team relay competitions, will return for her 12th season with the team. She also placed third in the 2022-23 overall Sprint World Cup.
Three-time Olympian Summer Britcher (Glen Rock, Pa.) secured seven top ten finishes last season, and placed in the top five in team relay at the 2023 World Championships with teammates Tucker West and the duo of Zack DiGregorio and Sean Hollander. Britcher has five World Cup victories, the most in U.S. luge singles history.
Brittany Arndt (Park City, Utah) will begin the 2023 season coming off her most successful season. She made her first podium appearance in a World Cup competition with a bronze medal in women’s singles sprint on her home track in Park City, Utah. She also secured a personal best result during the 2023 World Championships, placing eighth. 2022 Olympian Ashley Farquharson (Park City, Utah), who hit a career high fourth in the Park City Sprint, also made the team. 2023 Norton Junior National Championship silver medalist Elana Morrison (Twin Lake, Mich.) qualified as a graduating Junior.
World Cup gold medalist and three-time Olympian West (Ridgefield, Conn.) is returning for his tenth World Cup tour following a consistent season where he placed tenth in the overall rankings. The three-time Olympian also helped earn three medals for Team USA in the team relay competition.
2022 Olympian Jonny Gustafson (Massena, N.Y.) will continue to chase after the podium following a career best fourth place result in the men’s sprint in Park City last year. Notably, Gustafson also placed sixth in Igls, Austria in the World Cup event. 2018 Olympic silver medalist Chris Mazdzer also qualified for the team after racing a limited schedule in the fall of 2022. Graduating Junior Hunter Harris (East Fairfield, Vt.) will round out the team. Harris’ top performance last season was the 2023 Junior World Cup in Altenberg, Germany where he placed sixth.
Following a season of considerable improvement, DiGregorio and Hollander will be joined by the duo of Dana Kellogg and Frank Ike representing Team USA in men’s doubles.
In 2022, DiGregorio (Medway, Mass.) and Hollander (Lake Placid) took the gold medal in the U23 World Championships and earned their first Olympic appearance at the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing where they placed 11th in doubles and seventh in the team relay. The team also posted a World Cup career-best fourth place in Park City and anchored Team USA in all three medal-winning relay performances.
Kellogg (Chesterfield, Mass.) raced with Duncan Segger (Lake Placid) since the 2016-17 season. Kellogg has now teamed with Junior National Team athlete Frank Ike (Lititz, Pa.), who raced with Aidan Mueller (West Islip, N.Y.) in the Junior World Cup last season. That duo ranked seventh in the overall Junior rankings. Mueller will continue his career in men’s singles as Ike steps up to the National Team with Kellogg.
After their first season competing on the World Cup tour, the women’s doubles teams of Chevonne Forgan and Sophia Kirkby will join Maya Chan and Reannyn Weiler and the duo of Britcher/Sweeney on the national team.
2022 World Championship bronze medalists Forgan (Chelmsford, Mass.) and Kirkby (Ray Brook, N.Y) hope to continue their success following a silver medal at the World Cup in Sigulda, Latvia last season. Chan (Chicago, Ill.) and Weiler (Whitesboro, N.Y.) will return after placing seventh in the overall World Cup standings.
Following their first-year racing as a doubles team, Britcher and Sweeney have also been named to the team. The duo placed ninth overall in their first season of doubles racing, despite only competing in the first three events of the season.
The nine-circuit World Cup season will kick-off in North America December 8-10, 2023, in Lake Placid, with the World Championship scheduled for January 27-28, 2024, in Altenberg, Germany.