Eastport-raised luger Justin Krewson did not make it to the podium but was pleased with his effort in the Winter Olympics, finishing a USA-best eighth with teammate Andrew Sherk on Wednesday in doubles.
Huntington Station native Matt Mortensen partnered with Jayson Terdiman to finish 10th in the event in Pyeongchang, South Korea, which was won by defending champions Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt of Germany. After crashing in their final training run, the pair won in 1:31.697, which was 0.088 of a second ahead of silver medalists Peter Penz and Georg Fischer of Austria. Germany’s Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken took the bronze.
“Best day of work ever,” Krewson, a first-time Olympian, said in a release by USA Luge. “This has been fantastic. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed sliding this much ever. Leading up to this race, waking up this morning, we were so excited to get out here and couldn’t wait to race. And it ended up working out so well.”
The 6-2 Krewson became interested in luge at age 12 when meeting 2002 Olympics luger Adam Heidt after an Islanders game. Krewson started his career on a singles sled but switched to doubles in 2012. He has appeared in six world championships, starting in 2011, finishing 11th the last two years.
Sherk, from Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, also was satisfied with the run.
“I can’t complain. I’m so excited. It couldn’t have gone any better,” Sherk said. “It was funny. Up at the top, it kind of felt like training. It didn’t feel like the Olympics, but when you go through all the corners and you see rows of people . . . like five solid rows of people. There was so much cheering. I could hear it in every single corner.’’
The duo’s two-heat time of 1:32.652 marked their best international result outside of Lake Placid, where Krewson lives and is a volunteer fireman.
Mortensen and Terdiman expressed disappointment with their finish. Mortensen, 32, is looking forward to Thursday’s team relay, which will be his last Olympics event. Mortensen is not expected to train for the 2022 Beijing Games. He placed 14th in the doubles luge at the Sochi Olympics in 2014.
“It helps soften the blow of a poor performance,” said Mortensen, who enlisted in the Army in 2012 and reportedly joined the Army World Class Athlete Program. He also has worked as an electrician in the New York Army National Guard. “We know we can have a great performance with our teammates tomorrow night, so I’m definitely looking forward to that. I have a good idea on how I want to set up the sled. With what we went with today, the second run was better than the first run.”
Mortensen and Terdiman will be joined by men’s silver medalist Chris Mazdzer and Summer Britcher in the relay event.
“Summer wants redemption, we want redemption, Chris wants to keep his train rolling,” Terdiman said. “Let’s keep it going, baby. We got this.”