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Trinity Ellis 15th in Altenberg, Embyr-Lee Susko 17th in her luge World Cup debut

Ellis was again tops among Canadian women, while Susko represented herself well in her first race against world-class senior opponents

Once again, Trinity Ellis led the way for Canadian women at the International Luge Federation (FIL) World Cup this past weekend. The Pemberton native achieved a 15th-place finish from Feb. 4 to 5 in Altenberg, Germany with a two-run time of one minute, 47.293 seconds.

Not far behind in 17th was Embyr-Lee Susko. At 17 years old, the Whistlerite has now made her debut on the senior World Cup circuit after a mid-January victory on her home track at the FIL Continental Cup. Susko, a part of the Canadian junior national team, acquitted herself well during a major step up in competition with a combined time of 1:47.356. 

"So much stoke for my World Cup debut!" she said on her Instagram account after the race. Susko is one of Luge Canada's brighter prospects, having challenged her older compatriots for a spot on the senior national team during last year's selection events in Norway and Latvia. 

Caitlin Nash and Carolyn Maxwell rounded out the Canadian contingent. Nash, also from Whistler, placed 23rd (1:48.192) and Maxwell, from Calgary, Alta., finished one spot behind in 24th (1:48.413). 

Germans defended home ice brilliantly. Julia Taubitz, who is fresh off two silver medals at the 2023 FIL World Championships in Oberhof, won gold in a time of 1:45.727. Fellow top contender and countrywoman Anna Berreiter earned silver (1:46.034), with bronze going to Dajana Eitberger (1:46.057). 

In men's doubles, Devin Wardrope and Cole Zajanski managed to cross the line in 12th place with a time of 1:25.916. The young Calgarians are gaining valuable international experience as they work to fill the shoes vacated by four-time Olympians Tristan Walker and Justin Snith. 

Reigning Olympic silver medallists Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken of Germany claimed the win (1:24.158), narrowly besting incumbent Olympic champions Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt (1:24.224). The Latvian duo of Martins Bots and Roberts Plume disrupted what could have been another German podium sweep by racing to bronze (1:24.376). 

Eggert and Benecken also overcame Wendl and Arlt at this year's World Championships. 

Full results and more information on the rest of the luge season is available on the FIL website.