KOENIGSSEE, Germany — Emily Sweeney, a former Falmouth resident living in Connecticut, posted her career-best finish on the luge World Cup circuit, placing fourth Saturday with two quality runs.

“My training this week was about 50-50,” said Sweeney, 21. “Each day I’d have a good run and a dud of a run. I didn’t have two clean runs consecutively until today. But I’ve done this before and needed to do what I know how to. I wasn’t trying to do anything crazy or get extra time. I was just trying to have two solid runs.”

Sweeney finished 0.08 of a second from a podium finish as her improvement continued. She was a seventh in Igls, Austria, in late November followed by a fifth-place finish in early December at Lake Placid, New York.

Twice she has come close to making the Olympic team: She was among the final cuts for Sochi in 2014 after being beaten out for the final spot on the 2010 Vancouver team by her sister, Megan, who has since retired.

Natalie Geisenberger of Germany won to claim her fifth luge World Cup win from six events and extend her commanding lead in the overall standings. Geisenberger, the Olympic champion and defending titleholder, was fastest in both runs for a combined time of 1 minute, 41.411 seconds, beating Alex Gough of Canada by 0.349 seconds and Dajana Eltberger of Germany by 0.460.

Sweeney finished with a combined time of 1:41.960, just .469 seconds out of first place. Julia Clukey of Augusta, an Olympian in 2010, finished 24th for the United States.

The American squad entered the Koenigssee World Cup weekend after a two-week holiday break and just five official training runs this week instead of the usual six. The number of practice runs was curtailed due to a snowstorm that hit the previously dry Alps.

“I know I was at a disadvantage with the lack of training, but it makes it even better when you do well,” said Sweeney, who had not raced on this classic and difficult layout in more than a year.

“That’s what I was going for. We had to rely on our instincts. We know how to slide and you have to show up. So today I tried to show up.”

Sweeney registered 1:41.960 on the strength of the fourth-best heat times of each run. Her starts were in the top 10 of both attempts and she gained time from there to the finish.

“You have to get the rhythm of the S-turns,” she said. “If you’re behind it’s difficult to get back on line. Coming out of (turn 4), there’s a long straightaway that’s not very straight. If you’re off it’s painful because it’s really hard to get it back. But if you come out of there straight, good for you.”

As the top American she will get her first World Cup start in a team relay Sunday.

Geisenberger continues to set the standard for all lugers, winning her 28th World Cup event. Geisenberger leads the standings at the halfway stage with 570 points, ahead of Tatjana Huefner of Germany with 390 and Eltberger with 371.

“To start the new year with a victory in front of an audience like this is brilliant. I had a grin on my face going down the track, a good sign. I’m just having fun,” said Geisenberger.

The men’s competition and a team relay are set for Sunday.

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