PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — It took Erin Hamlin more than a decade to collect two World Cup luge gold medals.
And then came Saturday, when she won two in a couple of hours.
Hamlin dominated the field to win a pair of women’s events, Emily Sweeney took silver in both of those races and USA Luge had a day unlike any other in its World Cup history. In all, the Americans picked up five medals, including a bronze from Matt Mortensen and Jayson Terdiman in a sprint doubles race.
“It’s very exciting,” Hamlin said. “It was a great race day. We had perfect conditions. I’m very relieved and happy that I could capitalize on that.”
She now has four World Cup wins and 16 medals in singles or sprint events on the circuit — not including her gold from the 2009 world championships or her bronze from the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Hamlin started her day with a win in the women’s singles event, the usual two-run format. Hamlin won gold in 1 minute, 29.257 seconds. Sweeney tied her career-best World Cup finish by taking second in 1:29.384, and Alex Gough of Canada was third in 1:29.584.
Natalie Geisenberger of Germany, the reigning Olympic champion, was fourth — one spot ahead of Summer Britcher from the U.S.
That was followed by the sprint events, a one-heat dash in which the clock doesn’t start until sliders have built up some speed at the top of the track. Mortensen and Terdiman placed third in that event, their time of 32.938 seconds beaten by only two German teams — Toni Eggert and Sascha Beneckenwere first in 32.838, and Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt were second in 32.893.
“We had a great run,” Terdiman said. “Can’t argue with a bronze medal.”
Hamlin and Sweeney were back on the track soon after, just a couple of hours after finishing up their first competition of the day. They repeated the 1-2 finish, with Hamlin winning in 32.881 seconds, ahead of Sweeney (33.034) and Germany’s Tatjana Huefner (33.040).
Saturday’s medals for Hamlin and Sweeney were the first four won by U.S. women in singles events this season. Britcher captured a bronze in a team relay at Lake Placid last weekend.
“Everything’s starting to pay off,” Sweeney said. “Hopefully, we can keep the momentum going.”
Hamlin’s other World Cup wins were a sprint race at Altenberg, Germany, in February 2015, and a full World Cup last season in Lake Placid. The two wins Saturday vaulted her to No. 3 in the overall World Cup standings for the season.
“Just an awesome day,” Hamlin said.
Sweeney has been dealing with a wrist injury, and she was thrilled with silvers.
“I am so pleasantly surprised,” Sweeney said. “But also, it’s just a relief. I really needed a win for myself. And I didn’t win — but I won in my own mind, so it’s great.”
Dominik Fischnaller of Italy won the men’s sprint Saturday in 28.302 seconds, edging Russia’s Roman Repilov and Germany’s Andi Langenhan.
After this weekend, the luge circuit goes on holiday break before resuming Jan. 5 in Konigssee, Germany.Follow @nbcolympictalk