Baltimore-born athlete takes 15th in Olympic luge

An Olympic dream several years in the making didn't quite come true for one Baltimore-born athlete.

Summer Britcher, the 19-year-old daughter of Baltimore City Fire Department captain Bill Britcher, finished in 15th place in the women's singles luge event in Sochi.

After four runs, Britcher ended with a time of 3 minutes, 24.143 seconds. Her first run put her in 19th place out of 31. Her second run placed her in 15th, where she remained for the rest of the competition.

Britcher, now a resident of Glen Rock, Pa., discovered her love for luge at age 14. Her family took a vacation to Ski Liberty Mountain Resort in southern Pennsylvania, where a luge course had been set up. A luge coach encouraged her to try out.

She called Lake Placid, N.Y. home last summer, where she trained at the Olympic Training Center. In December, she grabbed the last remaining spot on the U.S. Olympic team at the final qualifying race.

The U.S. did not leave the competition empty-handed, however. Britcher's teammate Erin Hamlin made history as the first U.S. singles luge medalist. Hamlin finished in third place with a time of 3:21.145.

German competitors took first and second place. Natalie Geisenberger finished first (3:19.768), while the 2010 gold medalist Tatjana Huefner received silver this year (3:20.907).

Singles' luge is the only Olympic event Britcher will participate in this year.

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