LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – Julia Clukey of Augusta, Maine, won both gold medals in the senior women singles Winter National Seeding Races on Saturday and Sunday in Lake Placid. 2014 Olympian Tucker West took the men's title, while 2014 National Champions Jake Hyrns and Andrew Sherk were the doubles winners.
The races will help to determine the composition of the 2014-15 National Team.
Clukey claimed all 200 possible points to finish atop the senior women’s singles standings. On Saturday, Clukey finished 0.353 seconds ahead of Olympian Summer Britcher in second and 0.589 seconds ahead of 2013 World Junior Champion Emily Sweeney, who took third place. Clukey’s total time was 1 minute, 28.690 seconds.
On Sunday, Clukey slid away from the pack with a two-run time of 1:29.374 which was 0.664 seconds ahead of Britcher and 0.606 seconds ahead of Sweeney.
Britcher of Glen Rock, Pa., and Sweeney of Suffield, Ct., finished in second and third place both days to come away with the silver and bronze medals in the points standings. Britcher ended the weekend with 170 of the possible 200 points on the weekend while Sweeney had 140 points.
Raychel Germaine of Roswell, Ga., like Clukey, Britcher and Sweeney, was able to hold the same position for both days. Germaine finished in fourth place both days to give her 120 points.
At just 12 years old, Sophie Kirkby of Ray Brook, N.Y. was among the youngest competitors to ever compete in a senior national team race. She finished ninth on Saturday and seventh on Sunday to finish in eighth place in the points standings with 85 points.
The men’s singles and doubles races featured different winners both days which resulted in ties atop the points standings for both disciplines. Two different winners in each discipline resulted in tiebreakers to decide the final standings.
Olympians West of Ridgefield, Ct., and Aidan Kelly of West Islip, N.Y., captured first and second place respectively on Saturday in their first race since competing at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. West finished with a total time of 1:45.378 which bettered Kelly by 0.519 seconds. The battle for second place was extremely tight. Kelly’s total time of 1:45.897 was just 0.014 seconds ahead of Joe Mortensen of Huntington Station, N.Y., who finished in third place, a mere 0.060 seconds in front of Taylor Morris.
Morris of South Jordan, Utah, followed up his fourth place finish on Saturday with a first place finish on Sunday, edging Mortensen by 0.145 seconds. Kelly finished in third place which gave him a tie for third place in the points standings with Mortensen at 155 points.
West finished in fourth place on Sunday which caused another tie, this time for first place with Morris.
To decide the medal winners for the weekend, a tiebreaker was needed. The first level of the tie-breaking procedure was the best finishing position for one of the two days of racing. Both West and Morris finished in first place in one of the races, which meant another tiebreaker was needed. The next tie-breaking procedure used each athlete’s fastest run of their four heats from the weekend. West’s fastest run was 52.525 seconds while Morris’ fastest was 52.630 making West the weekend’s gold medalist with 160 points.
The same process was used to decide third and fourth place between Mortensen and Kelly. Both had a weekend-best finish of second place which led to Mortensen’s fastest time of 52.805 beating out Kelly’s fastest time of 52.913.
Anthony Espinoza of Park City, Utah, who had been sliding in the doubles discipline earlier in the season, finished in fifth place both races. He earned 110 points and finished in fifth place in the overall standings.
Like the men's race, the doubles competition needed a tiebreaker to decide the gold medalist for the weekend. Hyrns of Muskegon, Mich., and Sherk of Fort Washington, Pa., finished in first place on Saturday with a total time of 1:28.712. Olympians Matt Mortensen of Huntington Station, N.Y., and Jayson Terdiman of Berwick, Pa., sliding in their first race together after competing in the 2014 Olympics with different teammates, finished in second place. Mortensen and Terdiman were 0.146 seconds behind the team of Hyrns and Sherk. Justin Krewson of Eastport, N.Y., and Tristan Jeskanen of Peru, N.Y., who represented the Junior National Team for the 2013-14 season, finished in third place with a total time of 1:29.594.
On Sunday, the team of Mortensen and Terdiman switched roles with the team of Hyrns and Sherk. Mortensen and Terdiman finished with a total time of 1:29.147. Hyrns and Sherk finished 0.398 seconds behind, which ultimately led to the same tiebreaker that was used to decide the men's standings. The fastest run by Hyrns and Sherk was 44.321 seconds which was slightly better than Mortensen and Terdiman’s best run of 44.546 seconds.
Hyrns and Sherk were able to take home the gold medal with 185 points after the tiebreaker. Mortensen and Terdiman, also with 185 points, took the silver medal while the team of Krewson and Jeskanen finished with 70 points in third place for the bronze medal.
Sunday's race concluded the season for the Senior National Team athletes, but those who were on the Junior National and Development Teams will have the opportunity to race in the upcoming Youth Seeding and National Races and Junior National and Seeding races on March 22-23 and March 29-30. Those races can be seen live on www.usaluge.org
For more information on the Fastest Sport on Ice®, log on to www.usaluge.org