ALTENBERG, Germany – Matt Greiner, of Park City, Utah, took his first podium result of the season Saturday in the Altenberg, Germany Youth A World Cup luge race. Greiner finished third and improved in the overall rankings from fifth to third place. Last week, the youngster qualified for next month’s 2020 Youth Olympic Games (YOG).
Greiner negotiated the Altenberg track in 1 minute, 25.815 seconds, finishing 0.2 behind Russian winner Pavel Repilov. The American has 268 Youth A World Cup points with one race remaining in Winterberg, Germany.
Hunter Harris, of East Fairfield, Vt., also headed to the YOG, wound up 17th. Sam Day, of Wantagh, N.Y., was 22nd, while Sam Eckert, of Wilmington, N.Y. placed 26th. Day and Eckert will also compete at the YOG as a doubles team. They took eighth in the Altenberg Youth doubles event.
Sophia Gordon, of Sussex, Wis., was 20th in the Youth A women’s competition, while McKenna Mazlo, of Souderton, Pa., another luge athlete headed to St. Moritz, was 21st.
The Youth A women’s World Cup doubles team of Maya Chan, of Chicago, and Reannyn Weiler, of Whitesboro, N.Y. were sixth in Altenberg and earned a berth at the YOG in January. Chan and Weiler took a bronze medal in the pre-YOG race last winter in St. Moritz.
The USA Luge Junior National Team has additional sleds currently in the top three of the standings to date. Zack DiGregorio, of Medway, Mass., was second and eighth in Altenberg, to give him 187 overall Junior World Cup points, putting him in third place overall. Teammates Ian Smith, of Carlisle, Mass., and Sean Hollander, of Lake Placid, were right behind in ninth and 10th places, respectively. For the season, Smith sits in seventh place, Hollander is ninth and Keaton Jens, of St. Charles, Ill., is 11th after a 12th place result in Altenberg.
At the same Junior World Cup event, Sophie Kirkby, of Ray Brook, N.Y., took 13th with Chevonne Forgan, of Chelmsford, Mass., 19th.
American doubles sleds raced into ninth and 10th places in Altenberg. Dana Kellogg, of Chesterfield, Mass., with teammate Duncan Segger, of Lake Placid are in third place on the season, just six points from second. In Altenberg, they were just in front of Hollander and Michael O’Gara, of La Crescenta, Calif.
The U.S. teams are now headed home for the holidays. The Junior and Youth A World Cup schedules resume Jan. 31 – Feb. 2 in Winterberg.