by Gordy Sheer

2023 Norton Youth National Champions, left to right: Emryn McCarty, Ellie Kleinheinz, Orson Colby and Ben Wingfield.

LAKE PLACID, N.Y.—The nation’s top luge athletes under the age of 18 took part in the Norton Youth National Championships on March 4-5. Two separate races were held each day, consisting of two heats. The National Champions were crowned by combining the total time of the two days and four heats of racing. Two age groups took part in the competitions: Youth A for those age 15-17, and Youth B for athletes aged 14 and under.  

In women’s Youth A racing, Elizabeth Kleinheinz (Santa Clara, Calif.) took the National Championship, with Breckan Luedke (Menasha, Wis.) second and Brianna Gosnell (Evansburg, Pa.) third. Kleinheinz won the first race and took silver on day two. Luedke placed second and fourth in the two races, respectively. Gosnell was seventh in race one, but rallied on day two, winning the race. Sadie Martin (Vermontville, N.Y.) was second in the first race and Maggie Richardson (Mt. Vernon, Ohio) took bronze on day two.  

In men’s Youth A action, Orson Colby (Riverton, Utah) claimed the National Championship title over two days of sliding. Nathan Bivins (Castleton, N.Y.) was second and Seth Coates (Potsdam, N.Y.) was third. The individual competitions saw Logan Barnes (Milwaukee, Wis.), Bivins and Colby taking gold, silver, and bronze, respectively in the first race. Day two saw Colby in first, Coates second and Bivins third.  

Emryn McCarty (Swampscott, Mass.) won the women’s Youth B National Championship, with Elin Weaver (Indianapolis, Ind.) second and Miriel Schomaker (Park City, Utah) third. The finish order was the same for both races.  

The Youth B title was won by Ben Wingfield (Park City, Utah). Hayes Carlson (Lancaster, Pa.) was second and Tristan Gable (Camano Island, Wash.) was third. Like the women’s Youth B event, the top three featured the same athletes finishing in the same order in both races.

The Norton Junior National Championships will take place March 11-12. Those races will follow the same format as the Youth competitions but will feature athletes aged 18-20. Meanwhile, the National Team is currently training and testing equipment in Park City. The competitive season will come to a close on April 2 with the Master’s National Championship in Lake Placid. 


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