The 2014 Norton Junior National Championships and Seeding Race #2
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – First-time winners were crowned in three disciplines at the 2014 Norton Junior National Championships held March 29-30 at the Olympic Sports Complex in Lake Placid, N.Y. The competition featured the nation's best athletes born in 1994 or after.
Roswell, Ga. Native Raychel Germaine won the gold medal with a four-run combined time of 3 minutes, 1.127 seconds to win the first major national title in her career. Germaine, a member of the USA Luge’s Junior National Team, also competed in the 2012 Youth Olympic Games, where she finished 14th. Raychel is the daughter of Bob Germaine, a member of the National Team in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.
"I did have a tough week with my Oma (grandmother) passing away," said Germaine. "When I got back to train, I didn't have a single clean run and was getting very frustrated, so I was ecstatic to have some clean runs in the races."
Grace Weinberg took the silver medal in 3:02.029. Weinberg, of Middlebury, Vt., made her second podium appearance in as many weeks after taking the silver medal in last weekend’s Norton Youth A (for athletes born 1996-99) National Championships. Hannah Miller, who took last weekend’s Youth A title, was third, a mere .002 behind Weinberg after more than 2.8 miles of racing.
In the men’s competition, Jonny Gustafson of Massena, N.Y., took the title after a mistake in the fourth and final heat of the race cost Riley Stohr the win. Stohr, of Whitehall, Mich., held a convincing lead until he briefly came off his sled while negotiating the tricky junior men’s start corner. Gustafson, who also took the Youth A crown last weekend, posted winning time of 3:06.478, with Stohr at 3:08.301. Last weekend’s Youth A silver medalist, Elijah Pedriani of New Haven, Vt., was third in 3:11.720.
"I did not expect to win," said Gustafson. "I thought Riley had the win but when he messed up the start on that last run it put him to far back to catch up in the same run."
The Junior World Cup silver medal winning duo of Justin Krewson of Eastport, N.Y. and Tristan Jeskanen of Peru, N.Y. secured a convincing win in the doubles event, posting a two-run combined time of 1:28.541. A close battle for second place ensued, with Jake Farquharson of Park City, Utah and Duncan Biles of Herriman, Utah edging out Blake Hagberg of Utica, N.Y. and Justin Taylor of Newark, Del. Farquharson/Biles posted a 1:31.480 to take the silver medal, with the Hagberg/Taylor duo notching up a bronze medal time of 1:31.562.
"We were having really good runs all week so it was good to go into the race with the same type of runs," said Jeskanen. "We really had a solid four runs."
The Norton Junior National Championship marked the final race of the 2013-14 luge season, though sliding will continue for development teams at the Olympic Sports Complex through April 11. Coaches are expected to announce team rosters for the fall later this spring.
Junior National Championship Results
Norton Junior National Seeding Race #2 Results
The field from the 2014 Norton Junior National Championship series.
The doubles Norton Junior National Championship is determined in two runs. Today's event served as the second seeding race AND the Junior National Championship events. From left to right: Jake Farquharson, Duncan Biles, Tristan Jeskanen, Justin Krewson, Blake Hagberg, and Justin Taylor.
Men's Norton Junior National Championship podium, left to right: Riley Stohr, Jonny Gustafson, Elijah Pedriani.
Women's Norton Junior National Championship podium, left to right: Gracie Weinberg, Raychel Germaine, Hannah Miller.
Men's seeding race #2 winners, left to right: Riley Stohr, Jonny Gustafson, Elijah Pedriani
Women's seeding race #2 winners, left to right: Hannah Miller, Raychel Germaine, Gracie Weinberg.