Winter Games Athletes
The youngest slider on the American squad at just over 18 years old and one of two teenagers along with Aidan Kelly, West made surprising progress after spending the 2012-13 season racing in Juniors for the national team. The Union College freshman has shown flashes of potential in his first season on the World Cup circuit, highlighted by 11th-place finishes in singles in consecutive weeks at Winterberg, Germany, and Whistler, British Columbia. His season highlight was being part of the relay team that finished runner-up to Italy in Winterberg, keeping the U.S. squad in podium places as the middle leg of the three sliders along with Kate Hansen and the doubles team of Christian Niccum and Jayson Terdiman. His 1.782-second transition in the Winterberg relay was second-best among the male lugers. In order to get extra prep work before the Olympics, West is participating in the final two Junior World Cup events. It paid immediate dividends in Oberhof, Germany, with a third-place finish during which he had the best start times in both runs. He also placed ninth in Igls, Austria, and contributed to a second-place finish in the team relay for the Junior World Championships. West, who won a gold medal in the team relay at the 2012 Youth Olympics and placed 12th in singles in Innsbruck, Austria, was the National Start Champion in 2011 and 2012.