USA Luge Youth and Junior World Cup teams conclude seasons on demanding German track

By Sandy Caligiore | Feb. 18, 2019, 10:35 a.m. (ET)

OBERHOF, Germany – USA Luge ended its international youth and junior seasons last weekend on Oberhof’s throwback course that brought back memories of days when the sliding tracks were separate.

Traditionally, German athletes have dominated races here due to their access to the track’s nuances, and that was the case over the two days as the home team won six of eight gold medals. USA Luge left the site with three top 10 performances, led by a sixth place in the team competition and a pair of seventh place results in both youth men’s doubles and junior doubles.

Singles racers Ashley Farquharson, of Park City, Utah and Sean Hollander, of Lake Placid, N.Y., teamed with the doubles team of Dana Kellogg, of Chesterfield, Mass. and Duncan Segger, also of Lake Placid, for the sixth-place performance. On the season, the Americans placed fourth in the overall Junior World Cup standings.

The youth women’s doubles sled of Maya Chan, of Chicago, and Reannyn Weiler, of Whitesboro, N.Y. posted two silver medals and one bronze in their three races. Their bronze medal occurred in the 2020 Youth Olympic Games test event. They, too, were fourth in a partial season.

Youth men’s doubles saw the emergence of Sam Day and Michael O’Gara in the final weeks of the tour. Day, of Wantagh, N.Y. and O’Gara, of LaCrescenta, Calif., took bronze and seventh at Winterberg and Oberhof, respectively. Overall, they were in 10th place. Both also raced in youth singles during the season.

Youth singles athlete Ian Smith, of Carlisle, Mass. posted a fourth-place rank at season’s end despite missing an event. Smith had four top five race results, including one bronze medal. Sam Eckert, of Wilmington, N.Y., wound up sixth on the year, helped by five top 15s in a full season.

Farquharson, in her final season of junior competition, was ninth on the Junior World Cup campaign, highlighted by a fourth place in Winterberg. She also finished fourth at the Junior World Championships, although that does not count for Junior World Cup points.

The top-ranked junior man this season was Keaton Jens, of St. Charles, Ill. Jens had three top 15 race results on his way to 13th place overall. Zack DiGregorio, of Medway, Mass., in three competitions, was sixth, 10th and 13th to place 17th on the winter, followed by Hollander in 18th.

Emma Erickson, of Park City, and McKenna Mazlo, of Souderton, Pa., were in 16th and 17th places, respectively, on the season with just two races each among youth women.

Here are the remainder of the U.S. athletes and their final standings:

YOUTH MEN

14) Matt Greiner, Park City
20) Michael O’Gara, La Crescenta, Calif.
33) Sean Rogers, Fanwood, N.J.
42) Sam Day, Wantagh, N.Y.
45) Hunter Harris, East Fairfield, Vt.

YOUTH WOMEN

20) Sophia Gordon, Sussex, Wis.
39) Delaney Duncan, Park City
44) Elana Morrison, Muskegon, Mich.

JUNIOR MEN

26) Luke Voegeli, Sun Prairie, Wis.

JUNIOR WOMEN

22) Sophie Kirkby, Ray Brook, N.Y.
T24) Chevonne Forgan, Chelmsford, Mass.
29) Elana Morrison, Muskegon, Mich.

Kirkby and Morrison raced up in age class in 2018-2019.

The youngsters of USA Luge are now headed back to the U.S. for the closing domestic races of the season. The Norton Youth Seeding Races and National Championships are scheduled for March 2-3, while the Norton Junior Seeding Races and National Championships, for older athletes, take place March 9-10. Both weekends are set for the Utah Olympic Park in Park City.
                                                                            

For complete Youth and Junior World Cup results and final standings, please log on to: https://www.fil-luge.org/en/overall-scores?event_season_id=18