KOENIGSSEE, Germany – While German women dominated on their home track with a 1-2-3 finish in World cup luge comeptition Saturday, Augusta’s Julia Clukey keeps inching her way up the leaderboard.

After a bronze medal finish Friday in the Nations Cup qualifier, the 2010 Olympian is finding more confidence and a new comfort level as she finished with a strong sixth place effort despite teeming rain in the Bavarian Alps.

“I have to be relaxed and smooth on the sled,” Clukey said.
“Looking at the split times, a couple of years ago I was only carrying my speed half way down the track.

But to see I was second (today) coming out of Kriesel (360 degree turn), for me, is moving in the right direction.

“I’ve been focusing on all the small things in my sliding. This year I’m paying attention to my equipment and understanding how my sled works and what’s best for me as a driver, as a slider.”

Clukey  took advantage of her typically strong start on Koenigssee’s long, flat start ramp. She is now qualified for next month’s World Championships at Whistler, B.C., Canada. Teammate Erin Hamlin, who placed 10th in the competition, qualified last month for Whistler.

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