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Sunday, October 30, 2011
Erin Hamlin OK after crash

Associated Press

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- USA Luge standout Erin Hamlin escaped serious injury Sunday after crashing during a World Cup team selection race at Mt. Van Hoevenberg.

X-rays on Hamlin's left arm were negative, and the 2009 world champion said afterward that she was a "little banged up" but otherwise fine. She won two bronze medals in World Cup races last season, and was prequalified for the 2011-12 team so her results in this weekend's races were largely irrelevant.

Hamlin will be joined on the women's roster to start the World Cup season by Ashley Walden, who was also prequalified.

Junior sliders Kate Hansen and Emily Sweeney finished first and second, respectively, in the women's selection series of races. Both will start the season on the Junior World Cup circuit, then are expected to move up to the top tour for a race at Calgary in mid-December.

"It'd be great to come home with some medals," said Sweeney, who crashed during a race on Saturday. "Not making any promises, but we'll see how it goes."

Olympian Chris Mazdzer won the men's selection races this weekend, but already decided to skip the first portion of the World Cup schedule and stay home to continue testing new equipment. That decision, combined with recent retirements of Tony Benshoof and Bengt Walden, means Isaac Underwood and Trent Matheson will be the lone U.S. sliders on the men's World Cup tour to start the season.

In doubles, USA Luge is sending the teams of Matt Mortensen-Preston Griffall and Christian Niccum-Jayson Terdiman to the start of the World Cup season. Niccum is still recovering from offseason back surgery and has spent limited time on the ice this fall.

Luge's World Cup slate starts Nov. 26 in Igls, Austria.