USA Luge concludes first stage of Youth Olympic Games qualification with 3 races in Lake Placid
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – Matt Greiner and McKenna Mazlo swept men’s and women’s singles qualifying, respectively, Saturday as USA Luge began its Youth Olympic Games (YOG) selection process this week in Lake Placid.
The two lead qualifiers maxed out with 300 seeding points after winning all three events that were held Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Olympic Sports Complex.
The top two men’s and women’s singles finishers advanced to the final stage of selection in December.
Greiner, of Park City, Utah, and Hunter Harris, of East Fairfield, Vt., moved on with Mazlo, of Souderton, Pa., and Sophia Gordon, of Sussex, Wis. Gordon rallied Saturday to overtake Emma Erickson, of Park City, for the final slot by just five points. Harris, third after Thursday’s qualifier, moved into second place over Aiden Mueller, of W. Islip, N.Y., on Friday and held on the final day to finish runner-up.
The next and final series of YOG qualifying occurs at the four December Youth A World Cups, with two taking place in Igls, Austria and the final two in Koenigssee, Germany. The entire process will conclude Dec. 8.
The women’s doubles team of Maya Chan, of Chicago, and Reannyn Weiler, of Whitesboro, N.Y., and the men’s doubles unit of Sam Eckert and Sam Day, have also advanced to the December events. Chan and Weiler, who medaled in St. Moritz last season, captured the lone race on Thursday against Erickson and Elana Morrison, of Muskegon, Mich.
Eckert and Day are the lone age eligible doubles team on the U.S. roster and were exempt from qualifying in Lake Placid.
Also on the ice at Mount Van Hoevenberg were Caitlyn Pettys, of York, Pa., Jessa Muller, of New London, Wis., Mary Grace Richardson, of Mount Vernon, Ohio, Marcus Mueller, of Brookfield, Wis., Ansel Haugsjaa, of Framingham, Mass., and Frank Ike, of Lititz, Pa. They raced for experience and were not part of the YOG procedure.
The 2020 YOG sliding events will be held on the natural ice track in St. Moritz, about a five-hour drive from the event’s central location in Lausanne, Switzerland. The track is built yearly from natural ice pulled from nearby Lake St. Moritz and hand-placed along its entire length, starting in the ritzy tourist destination and concluding two miles later in nearby Celerina. The YOG luge events will not use the full course.
The YOG, for athletes ages 15-18, is scheduled for Jan. 9-22.
STANDINGS AFTER STAGE 1 OF YOG QUALIFICATION IN LAKE PLACID
1) Matt Greiner, 300 points
2) Hunter Harris, 240 points
3) Aiden Mueller, 210 points
4) Sean Rogers, 190 points
5) Jeff Sichler, 170 points
1) McKenna Mazlo, 300 points
2) Sophia Gordon, 230 points
3) Emma Erickson, 225 points
4) Elana Morrison, 190 points
1) Maya Chan and Reannyn Weiler, DNS Friday and Saturday, 100 points
Emma Erickson and Elana Morrison, DNS Friday and Saturday, 0 points
Currently, the USA Luge National Team is in Sochi for training on the 2020 World Championship track, followed by final preparations in Igls for the World Cup opener.
The junior national team, meanwhile, will return to Sigulda, Latvia for the continuation of pre-season training. The Junior World Cup tour opener, originally scheduled for Park City, Utah Nov. 21-22, has been canceled due to refrigeration problems at the Utah Olympic Park. Their Youth A World Cup has been added to the program in Koenigsee, Germany next month.
For more information on the Fastest Sport on Ice®, log on to www.usaluge.org
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