Erin Hamlin in third place, aiming for first-ever singles’ luge medal for U.S.

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With the final day of women’s singles’ luge set to begin at 9:30 a.m. ET (CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE), Erin Hamlin is in position to be the one that finally ends a massive Olympic drought for American luge.

Hamlin, the 2009 world champion, sits third behind Germany’s Natalie Geisenberger and defending Olympic champion Tatjana Huefner after the first two runs yesterday at the Sanki Sliding Center.

If Hamlin can stay on the podium through the last two runs this morning at Sanki, she’ll claim the first-ever singles’ luge medal for the U.S. in the Olympics.

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The U.S. has earned four previous Olympic medals in luge, but all of them were in doubles – and the last two of those came back at the Salt Lake City Games in 2002 (Brian Martin/Mark Grimmette, silver; Chris Thorpe/Clay Ives, bronze).

Hamlin enters today holding third place by a margin of .216 of a second over fourth-place Natalja Khoreva of Russia. One of her teammates, Kate Hansen, is currently rounding out the Top 10 in 10th spot at 1.56 seconds behind leader Geisenberger.

“I’m definitely happy with it [Runs 1 and 2],” Hamlin said in a USA Luge release yesterday. “I had mistakes in both runs that I can correct. I’m having fun and happy with the consistency, so hopefully tomorrow I can find that little extra speed.”

You can see if Hamlin can make history today at 9:30 a.m. ET on NBCOlympics.com.

Coaches to receive medals at World Track and Field Championships

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Coaches will receive medals at the World Track and Field Championships for the first time this summer.

London will host the 16th edition of the event in 100 days.

Coaches’ medals will be based on similar themes to athlete medals but will look different.

“The medals, gifted to successful athletes once they return from their ceremony, will be for them to hand to their coach or significant advisor in recognition of the unique and valued working relationship between athlete and coach,” the IAAF said in a press release.

Coaches do not receive Olympic medals.

The U.S. Olympic Committee established the Order of Ikkos medals starting with the 2008 Beijing Games, allowing medal-winning athletes to acknowledge one coach.

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What to watch at Drake Relays, Penn Relays

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Olympic gold medalists ramp up their track and field seasons at the Penn Relays and Drake Relays, live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold this weekend.

Athletes are working toward the U.S. Championships in June and the world championships in August.

First, the historic Penn Relays will air on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold on Friday (5:30-6:30 p.m. ET) and Saturday (12:30-3 p.m. ET).

USA vs. The World in men’s and women’s 4x100m, 4x400m and sprint medley relays will air live on Saturday from Franklin Field in Philadelphia. A full schedule is here.

The U.S. teams are led by Olympic relay champions English Gardner and Natasha Hastings. The full roster is here.

Rio Olympic rematches highlight the individual-event fields at the Drake Relays in Des Moines on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold from 3-5 p.m ET on Saturday. A full schedule is here.

Perhaps no field is deeper than the 100m hurdles. World-record holder Keni Harrison takes on Rio silver and bronze medalists Kristi Castlin and Nia Ali, plus 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson.

The 110m hurdles contingent is strong as well. It features the last two Olympic champions, Jamaican Omar McLeod and American Aries Merritt, plus 2013 World champion David Oliver.

Grenada’s Kirani James and American LaShawn Merritt, who earned silver and bronze in Rio, go head-to-head again in the 400m at Drake.

The men’s 1500m is headlined by Rio Olympic 800m bronze medalist Clayton Murphy and London Olympic 1500m silver medalist Leo Manzano.

Rio bronze medalist Jenny Simpson races individually for the first time this year in the women’s 1500m.

That field also includes New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin, who gained fame of her own in Rio. Hamblin and American Abbey D’Agostino fell in an Olympic 5000m heat and helped each other make it to the finish line. Both were praised for their sportsmanship.

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