Canada’s luge athletes teamed up for a seventh-place finish in the team relay on Sunday in Altenberg, Germany.
Canada’s 19-year-old Carolyn Maxwell set the tone for the red and white before smashing the paddle hanging over the finish line to clear the track for Olympians Reid Watts (Whistler, B.C.) and then Tristan Walker (Cochrane, Alta.), Justin Snith (Calgary) in the anchor leg.
All three Canadian sleds combined for a seventh-place time of 2:23.369.
“This is a very young team who slid well on a very tough Altenberg track,” said Wolfgang Staudinger, head coach, Canadian Luge Team.
All three Canadian sleds had solid downtimes on the 15-corner track. Maxwell, one of a strong group of teenagers leading the next generation of Canadian lugers, was sixth in her opening run time. The Canucks dropped one spot in Watts’ leg. Walker and Snith were not able to make up any more time on the field despite a third-place reaction time at the start, holding on for seventh spot.
Russia won the relay with a time of 2:22.517. Germany slid to the silver medal at 2:22.530, while Italy secured third place with a time of 2:22.620.
Earlier in the day, Carolyn Maxwell and Trinity Ellis hit the start handles for the women’s singles race. Maxwell finished in 18th spot with a time of 1:45.317. The 17-year-old Ellis (Pemberton, B.C.), who opened the season with a top-10 finish, placed 21st at 1:45.557.
“We are in a rebuilding phase with our young kids, 17-19 years old, racing against adults,” added Staudinger. “Our women did a good job on track record ice today given their age and experience level. We developed a plan this year to balance the number of World Cup events we participate in with increased training opportunities for them to support their development. The results are going to be up and down, but they are making great progress.”
Germany’s Julia Taubitz won the women’s race with a time of 1:44.264. Russia’s Tatyana Ivanova stepped onto the silver-medal position on the podium with a time of 1:44.436. Italy’s Andrea Voetter stopped the clock at 1:44.647 for third.