USA Luge athletes take medals in Park City Junior World Cup Races
by Gordy Sheer
Youth races begin in Winterberg, Germany
PARK CITY, Utah – While the World Cup gets ready to kickoff December 8-9 in Lake Placid, the future stars of luge hit the ice a week in advance. Park City and Winterberg, Germany, hosted double headers in Junior and Youth competitions, respectively.
Under the backdrop of forward progress in the effort to host the 2034 Olympic Winter Games, the Park City Junior World Cup featured athletes aged 19-21 competing in four disciplines.
In the first men’s race, Marco Leger of Germany took first place, Timon Grancagnolo of Germany was second and Matt Greiner (Park City, Utah) was third. Aidan Mueller (West Islip, N.Y.) was fourth and Logan Barnes (Milwaukee, Wisc.) did not finish. The second competition saw Grancagnolo winning, Greiner in second and Muller in third. Barnes placed ninth.
Embry-Lee Susko of Canada took gold in the first women’s race, while Dorothea Schwarz of Austria grabbed the silver. Bronze went to Alina Brautigam of Germany, with Emma Erickson (Park City) fifth, Sophia Gordon (Sussex, Wisc.) tenth, Delaney Duncan (Park City) 11th and Macey Schomaker (Park City) 12th. Susko repeated her victory in the second race, with Erickson hitting the podium in second place. Canada’s Midori Holland was third, Gordon eleventh, Duncan 12th, and Schomaker 13th.
In men’s doubles, the top three places were occupied by the same three sleds in the same order of finish in both races. Both gold medals went to Moritz Jaeger and Valentin Steudte of Germany, the silvers went to Marcus Mueller (Brookfield, Wisc.) and Ansel Haugsjaa (Framingham, Mass.) and the bronze medals went to Pascal Kunze/Max Trippner of Germany. Logan Barnes and Gavin Davis (Berwick, Pa.) were fifth in both competitions.
The team competition saw Germany take the gold in the first race and the United States victorious in the second. The Americans, featuring Erickson, Greiner and the Mueller/Haugsjaa duo, took silver in the first event, while the German team did not finish race two. In race number one, a mixed team from Austria and Ukraine finished in the bronze medal position. Canada was second, and the mixed team of Austria and Ukraine finished third in race two.
Meanwhile, the Youth Continental Cup, with athletes under the age of 18, began its campaign in Winterberg, Germany.
The doubles team of Sadie Martin (Vermontville, N.Y.) and Hayden Bunker (West Farmington, Ohio) placed ninth and sixth in their two women’s doubles events. The men’s doubles team of Nathan Bivins (Castleton, N.Y.) and Wolfgang Lux (Swanton, Vt.) placed ninth and did not finish in their two efforts.
Seth Coates (Potsdam, N.Y.) led the men’s singles team for the United States, with 15th and 13th place efforts. Orson Colby (Riverton, Utah) finished 18th and 15th, while Josh Berzowski (Pulaski, Wisc.) was 20th and 18th in his two races. Elizabeth Kleinheinz (Santa Clara, Calif.) placed 18th and did not finish in her second women’s singles race, while Talia Tonn (Cecil, Wisc.) ranked 27th and 26th. Adeline Albert completed her comeback to luge racing after a heavy crash last season by placing 32nd and 27th.