WINTERBERG, Germany - If there is one member of the USA Luge Junior National Team saddened by the end of the season, it’s probably Riley Stohr.
The slider from Ludington, Mich, who lives in Whitehall, Mich., closed his Junior World Cup campaign Friday with a fourth consecutive trip to the podium in Youth A men. The classification is for youngsters to the age of 18.
The 16 year old raced to a silver medal in Winterberg, Germany, showing resilience in overcoming a fifth place opening run with the second fastest final heat. Stohr’s two-run time of 1 minute, 28.046 seconds put him 0.26 of a second behind gold medalist Anton Schreiber of Germany.
Stohr’s blistering finish to the season gave him 310 Youth World Cup points, second in the overall chase only to Schreiber’s 345. Stohr did not finish the first two races of the year, events where his first heats were fast. Once he solved the riddle of putting down two consistent runs, however, Stohr found a regular spot on the podium.
Schreiber did not compete in two events this season, but had two victories and two silver medals to take the season-long Youth A title.
The doubles team of Ty Andersen, of Alpine, Utah and Anthony Espinoza, of Park City, Utah rallied from eighth place at the intermission with the best second heat of the field and finished fifth in the season finale for Junior doubles. The Junior division includes 19 and 20 year olds.
The twosome were on their way to a top three opening leg when difficulties occurred in the bottom of Winterberg’s layout. A skid in curve 10 was followed by a trip to the roof of curve 12, putting them 0.50 of a second behind eventual winners Tim Brendel and Florian Funk of Germany.
The Americans closed a portion of the gap in the last leg, accruing a total time of 1:28.583 that placed them 0.41 from Brendel and Funk.
With the result, Andersen and Espinoza, in their first full year together, finished third in the Junior World Cup season standings with 369 points. This took place after bronze medals in doubles and the team relay at the Junior World Championships a month ago in Park City. In addition, Andersen won a 2012 Youth Olympic Games gold medal as part of the United States relay team 13 months ago.
The younger U.S. doubles team of Justin Krewson, of Eastport, N.Y. and Tristan Jeskanen, of Peru, N.Y. raced a shorter youth course and wound up sixth. Their two-heat aggregate time was 54.771. The Russian sled of Evgeny Evdokimov and Alexey Groshev slid to the gold medal in 53.382, finishing ahead of two German entries.
Krewson and Jeskanen ended the season in a third place tie with 340 points in the Youth Doubles World Cup rankings.
Youth A women saw another comeback of sorts as Theresa Buckley, of Allentown, Pa., ninth after one run, rebounded into fifth place in the finale. Buckley, who won two tour events to open last season before adding her third this winter, clocked 1:29.382. She finished 0.90 from winner Jessica Tiebel of Germany.
Buckley also took sixth in the overall end-of-season standings with 268 points, only 12 points from fourth place.
The Winterberg schedule and Junior World Cup season draws to a close Saturday with Junior singles for both men and women, followed by a team competition.
Youth A men results
Youth A women results
Junior doubles results
Youth doubles results