Canada 7th in luge team relay at World Cup event in Germany
Julia Taubitz dominates women's race, posting fastest time in both heats
Canada's luge athletes finished seventh on Sunday in a World Cup team relay.
Three Canadian sleds combined for a time of two minutes 23.369 seconds, trailing victorious Russia in 2:22.517. Germany slid to the silver medal in 2:22.530, followed by the bronze medallists from Italy (2:22.620).
Nineteen-year-old Carolyn Maxwell went down the track first for Canada, followed by Olympians Reid Watts of Whistler, B.C., and the doubles sled of Tristan Walker of Cochrane, Alta., and Justin Snith of Calgary in the anchor leg.
"This is a very young team who slid well on a very tough Altenberg track," said Canadian luge team head coach Wolfgang Staudinger.
WATCH | Russia slides to gold medal in team relay:
Maxwell, one of a strong group of teenagers leading the next generation of Canadian lugers, was sixth in her opening run time. The Canadians dropped one spot in Watts' leg. Walker and Snith were unable to make up any more time on the field, holding on for seventh spot.
Earlier in the day, Maxwell and fellow Canadian Trinity Ellis competed in the women's singles race with Maxwell finishing 18th and Ellis taking the 21st spot.
"We are in a rebuilding phase with our young kids, 17-19 years old, racing against adults," Staudinger said. "Our women did a good job on track record ice today, given their age and experience level.
"The results are going to be up and down, but they are making great progress."
Close battle for overall lead
Elsewhere, Julia Taubitz of Germany had the fastest time in both heats Sunday and won a women's World Cup luge race, moving into a virtual tie with Russia's Tatyana Ivanova for the season-long points lead.
Taubitz finished in 1:44.264, followed by Ivanova in 1:44.436. She has 482 standings points at the season's midway mark, two more than Taubitz with six races remaining.
WATCH | Julia Taubitz closes in on overall lead with Sunday win:
Italy's Andrea Voetter was third in 1:44.647.
Summer Britcher was the top American finisher Sunday, placing eighth. Emily Sweeney chose not to compete in her second run, and fell one spot to fourth behind Russia's Viktoriia Demchenko in the season points standings.
Russia won the team relay later Sunday, ahead of Germany and Austria. The U.S. was sixth.
The World Cup season continues next weekend in Lillehammer, Norway.
With files from The Associated Press and CBC Sports