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Erin Hamlin finishes 6th in Switzerland

By ANDREW DONOVAN

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (WKTV) - Remsen-native Erin Hamlin finished sixth in her World Cup race Saturday in St.Moritz, Switzerland.

The finish came on an atypical day in the Upper Engadin region - overcast with a few light snow showers - on the World Cup’s longest and only natural ice track.

German women, sparked by tour leader and 2010 Olympic champion Tatjana Huefner, nailed a 1-2-3-4 finish. Even the fifth place Swiss, Martina Kocher, trains with Germany. It was Huefner’s third win of the season and 31st of her career.

"We started from pretty far down the track," said Hamlin, a two-time Olympian and 2009 World Champion. "I think with more speed the spots I had issues with would have been a lot easier.

"I like the track. It’s different. It’s really smooth. And the setting is pretty cool and unique."

Yes it is, in that not every winter resort hosts the uber rich and famous who frequent the designer shops and boutiques such as Gucci, Zegna, Prada and Polo that dot the Via Serlas. The sliding track, where Hamlin’s business took place, began just over a nearby hill from the fashionistas.

"The first run was not horrible," she resumed. "The Horseshoe corner is the big omega curve and was really the only spot on the track I’d been having any troubles with. I lost some time there today. Without a lot of speed it’s hard to keep a high enough line. I was plagued with that problem so I skidded quite a bit. The second (run) was a lot better. My position (on the sled) may not have been ideal but everything else was spot on."

Huefner’s runs of 53.435 and 53.498 totaled 1:46.933 for an overwhelming margin over Natalie Geisenberger, the 2010 Olympic bronze medalist. The runner-up’s two heats gave her a time of 1:47.800. Anke Wischnewski was third in 1:47.998.

Huefner, seeking a tour record fifth straight World Cup crown, now has a commanding lead in the World Cup with 640 points. Geisenberg has 550, and Wischnewski 450 as the World Cup season starts to wind down.

Hamlin was clocked in 1:48.440. She retains sixth place in the standings with 301 points.

Canadian Alex Gough, third on the overall list prior to Saturday, dropped to fifth overall as her team opted to skip St. Moritz and spend more time at the World Championship site.

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