IGLS, Austria - USA Luge juniors left the 1976 Olympic track with a bronze medal last weekend and several near misses, as Riley Stohr landed on the podium for the third consecutive race.
Stohr’s bronze medal in Igls, in the Youth Men category, followed a silver medal effort the previous week in Oberhof, Germany and a bronze in Calgary prior to that. The Youth division includes athletes to the age of 18.
A native of Ludington, Mich. who resides in Whitehall, Mich., Stohr got off to quick starts in both heats in Igls and used that momentum on a short track to secure his bronze medal. Stohr’s two-heat time was 1 minute, 21.324 seconds. He finished 0.247 of a second from winner Nico Gleirscher, of Austria.
In Youth Women, Theresa Buckley, a recent Junior World Cup gold medalist in the Youth class, was within striking range of the top three once again. The Allentown, Pa. luger was in fourth place after one leg, only 0.06 from third. Buckley was holding fourth place well into the final run when she encountered difficulties that sent her down the rankings.
Ty Andersen and Anthony Espinoza, recent World Junior Championship bronze medalists in doubles and the team relay, settled for fifth place in the Igls junior doubles event. Andersen, of Alpine, Utah, and Espinoza, of Park City, Utah clocked 1:21.740 for their two attempts.
The duo also anchored a fifth place finish for the Americans in the team competition. They were joined by singles athletes Summer Britcher and Stohr.
Teammates Justin Krewson, of East Northport, N.Y. and Tristan Jeskanen, of Peru, N.Y. just missed the medals in Youth Doubles as they finished in fourth place.
Britcher, of Glen Rock, Pa., a 2012 Youth Olympic Games gold medalist, was eighth in Junior Women, while Raychel Germaine, of Roswell, Ga., took 19th.
Junior Men saw Aidan Kelly, of West Islip, N.Y. place 18th. Tucker West, of Ridgefield, Conn., another 2012 Youth Olympic Games gold medal winner, is technically still of youth age but continues to race up in age class. West was 22nd.
The Junior World Cup tour now moves to Winterberg, Germany for the final event of the season series Feb. 15-16.