Myler finishes sixth in early luge runs

February 11, 1992|By Mary Schmitt | Mary Schmitt,Knight-Ridder

LA PLAGNE, France -- Cammy Myler wasn't going to let a little thing like a stomach virus interrupt her quest for an Olympic medal.

Myler, 23, of Lake Placid, N.Y., got only about 20 minutes of sleep last night after waking up with stomach problems. But she still turned in a combined time of 1:34.023 for two runs in the women's luge and stood in sixth place with two more runs to come tomorrow.

Erica Terwillegar, 28, of Lake Placid, was in seventh place at 1:34.281 and Bonnie Warner, 29, of Mount Baldy, Calif., was in 18th place at 1:34.878.

"The day was all right," said U.S. coach Wolfgang Schaedler. "Cammy messed up the first run a little bit coming out of turn 17. think the second run was a little bit of a security run. But she's only two-tenths of a second out of third place right now, so anything is possible tomorrow."

Austrians held down the top three places and survived a protest by the U.S. and Italian teams that their shoes were illegally pointed or stabilized. A three-member jury disagreed.

That left Doris Neuner in first place with a time of 1:33.354. Her sister, Angelika, is second in 1:33.529. Andrea Tagwerker is third in 1:33.781.

German Susi Erdmann, the 1991 world champion and World Cup champion who is favored to win the gold medal, was in fourth place after the first two runs at 1:33.886.

"Susi surprised me," said Terwillegar, who described the course as "chattery" after 57 bobsleds practiced on it. "I thought she would smoke 'em. But for a lot of people, this is their first Olympics."

That's not the case for the Americans. All three women were on the Olympic team in 1988, and Warner's sixth-place finish there ranks as the best ever for a American in luge. Warner, who is retiring after this competition, also was on the team in 1984, and Terwillegar was an alternate in 1980 and 1984. They feel the experience comes in handy.

"After years and years of racing, the only difference between a lot of races and the Olympics is that when you look down at the start of the race, there are millions of people down there yelling and screaming," Terwillegar said. "But when you get to the start, you just try to block that out."

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