No matter the sport, competing on the world stage in a world championship is quite remarkable. Upper Peninsula’s very own US Natural Track Luge Team has just arrived home from such an event. The four athletes from The Upper Peninsula Luge Club in Negaunee did pretty well considering they were up against the best in the world. Coach Keith Whitman was very proud of his team.

“I always say, John, when you look at the American team, Americans, our citizens would be very impressed with our team and why? Because I want our athletes to be better. Citizens. I want them to be good people before they’re good athletes. Surely I want a good athlete. I expect that but I want them to be better people. And our young representative simplifies fine assignors They’re very good and they know respect. You will never disrespect America, the American flag you’ll never do that. Otherwise, head to the airport. You’ll be on the first plane coming home. And they know that and they respect the other countries just as well.”

For most of the team, it was not their first time competing at this level. Newcomer Jacob Steck, who placed 19th, appreciated the technical skills need to succeed.   

“It’s down to the slightest little hair. I know that artificially, you know, you want to be in a certain line as fast as you can. But here you really got to you got to focus on breaking where you’re gonna turn. It’s just a lot more information to take in”

As the sole girl in the group Katie Cookman who finished 12th, saw her performance improve as well as her growth as a person.

  “I’m not quite on most of the people in Europe’s level, but I’m definitely getting there. Yeah, it was really fun. I think that I’m like I said on my way to getting there.”

Katie’s brother Torrey who led the US team placing 16th loves this sport. and that fondness for Luge is evident in his success.

The eldest of the team Zane Farnsworth shares the feeling of a really good run.

“After you get down you look at your time. You’re like, Oh, that’s awesome. You know, I just did that. You kind of you have to because when you’re on the track, it’s really hard to think The US Natural Track Luge Team has a great home-field advantage as our hill is among the most difficult in the world. “ Coach Whitman agrees.

“Third toughest track in the world, and that’s what makes our athletes so competitive.”

And speaking of the track, Lucy Hill in Negaunee will host an international race this weekend. Calling it the North American-Pacific Natural Track Luge Competition where our team will compete against athletes from the Canadian & Japanese National Teams.