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U.S. Juniors collect hardware

February 1, 2011
Adirondack Daily Enterprise

IGLS, Austria - The United States junior luge team brought home four medals after competing at the final Junior World Cup of the season last weekend.

Summer Britcher, a 16-year-old winter term student at the National Sports Academy in Lake Placid, captured gold in the Youth A women's division with a total time of 1:20.782. The win also makes Britcher the overall winner for the division.

Emily Sweeney, a 17-year-old from Suffield, Conn., earned silver in the women's (to age 20) division while Jacob Hyrns, 17, and Andrew Sherk, 18, took bronze in the doubles event. Their 16-year-old teammates Tyler Anderson and Patrick Edmunds made their international racing debut by placing third in the Youth A (to age 17) doubles competition.

Sweeny, who finished a solid fourth place last week, slid into second with a two-run time of 1 minute, 20.744 seconds. Sweeney completed the Junior World Cup season in ninth place of overall standings and in sixth for the Junior Challenge Cup.

Kate Hansen, 18, finished the race in 18th place with a total time of 1:21.873. Sweeney and Hansen, who both did not race the entire five-race junior World Cup, finished 10th and 19th, respectively.

Hyrns and Sherk posted a two-run time of 1:20.996 to take the bronze medal. With the podium performance, Hyrns and Sherk grabbed the overall Junior World Cup title in doubles, the first time a U.S. sled has taken the junior title since Matt Mortensen and Garron Thorne in 2005. The duo also grabbed first in the overall Junior Challenge Cup standings.

The U.S. took silver in the junior team event standings with a second-place finish on Saturday that resulted in a total time of 2:11.467, which was just 0.296 behind the winning German team (2:11.171).

Hyrns and Sherk had the best doubles time, followed by Taylor Morris with the second-best men's time, while Sweeney posted the third best women's time.

Tyler Anderson and Patrick Edmunds made their international debut with a bronze in the youth doubles competition with a total time of 1:26.757. The pair finished 14th in overall Junior World Cup results.

In his first Junior World Cup start of the season, Taylor Morris, took 10th place in the men's division with a two-run time of 1:42.465. Morris was recovering from an early-season injury for the majority of the World Cup.

Aaron Barge, an 18-year-old from Saranac Lake, slid to a total time of 1:44.369, putting him into 22nd place, while Isaac Underwood, 19, finished 30th with a two-run time of 1:45.244.

Barge finished the season ranked sixth in the Junior Challenge Cup and 13th in the overall Junior World Cup, while Underwood was 19th and Morris 35th.

Anderson took ninth in the Youth A men's race with a time of 1:21.158. Tucker West had a two-heat time of 1:21.428, putting him into ninth place. With a total time of 1:23.407, Edmunds took 34th, while Aiden Kelly finished 42nd with a two-heat time of 1:24.452. West finishes the season 23rd as Anderson takes 37th in final standings.

Luge will be one of the sports included next winter at the first Youth Winter Olympics, conducted by the IOC. It will be contested at the site of the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria. Athletes born in 1994 and 1995 are eligible to compete.

Junior World Cup racing concludes this Saturday in Igls, Austria, near Innsbruck, followed by the World Junior Championships, Feb. 5-6 in Oberhof, Germany.



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