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Erin Hamlin and Hannah Miller on hand for Slider Search in Utica

By WKTV News

The U.S. Junior National Luge Team has been holding what it calls Slider Searches all over the U.S. for the past 25 years hoping to find young kids who could be the next luge superstar.

On Saturday they held one in Utica, not far from the home of U.S. Olympic Bronze Medalist Erin Hamlin of Remsen.

Hamlin was on hand helping U.S. Junior National Team Head Coach Fred Zimny find some local talent.

Zimny says these events are for kids who have never been introduced to the sport before, "We introduce them to the equipment, we show them how to lay on the sled, how to steer the sled, how to stop the sled of course."

Erin Hamlin is a product of Slider Search. She was introduced to luge at one such event when she was much younger, but that one she says was over in Syracuse, "They hadn't ever had one here until I got into the sport so it's new here, we've been here a couple years, but this is perfect, the grade of the hill and the log flat part at the end makes it pretty perfect for stopping and it's pretty perfect."

Also on hand to help on Saturday U.S. Junior National Team Member Hannah Miller of Rome who was introduced to luge at the Slider Search she was helping out with on Saturday, right on Cornelia, "Right here is where it all started, I was pretty nervous starting out, it is a very steep hill, but my very first run I fell in love with it."

Now Hannah Miller not only competes internationally during the season, she helps at these slider searches all over the U.S., as does Erin Hamlin. Miller says she loves this part of the year, "You just see that big huge grin, you see it click, they have a couple rough runs then all of a sudden they nail it, it's a great feeling because you know, you've experienced that yourself and to be able to pass that on ,its fantastic."

Those who show promise at these events are invited to head to Lake Placid this coming winter to try out a real sled.

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