USA Luge nominates 7 to YOG
LAKE PLACID — After a series of national and international qualification races, USA Luge has nominated seven athletes to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee for inclusion in next month’s 2020 Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne. Final team approval will come from the USOPC.
The initial races occurred in Lake Placid a month ago, and saw the leaders emerge. They included singles racers Matt Greiner, Hunter Harris and McKenna Mazlo, as well as the women’s doubles team of Maya Chan and Reannyn Weiler, and the men’s doubles sled of Sam Day and Sam Eckert.
The process continued with four Youth A World Cup competitions this month, two each in Igls, Austria and Koenigssee, Germany. When the races concluded and the results were calculated, these seven American youngsters had their tickets punched to Switzerland.
In the men’s field, USA Luge was granted a second slot behind Greiner, of Park City, Utah, its top qualifier, who is currently in fifth place in the overall Youth A World Cup rankings. Harris, of East Fairfield, Vermont, was the next best U.S. athlete. The team was notified by officials of the International Luge Federation, in conjunction with the IOC, that it would be allocated a second men’s berth. This developed when some nations opted not to fill their spots in the field.
Mazlo, of Souderton, Pennsylvania, joined Greiner as the leading U.S. qualifier. Both swept the domestic events in November and held their spots this month in Europe.
Day, from Wantagh, and Eckert, of Wilmington, are 12th ranked in the Youth A doubles standings.
The U.S. women’s doubles sled of Chan, of Chicago, and Weiler, of Whitesboro, will be part of history when they compete in the first IOC-sanctioned women’s doubles luge competition on Jan. 18.
The YOG, for athletes ages 15-18, is set for Jan. 9-22 and is based in Lausanne, Switzerland, headquarters of the IOC. Some 265 miles separates Lausanne and St. Moritz.
The YOG luge events will be held on the natural, hand-crafted track in St. Moritz, where ice is hauled from nearby Lake St. Moritz to create the racing surface in just three weeks.
Luge racing is set for Jan. 17-20, with an open date on Jan. 19. Five events will be contested: men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and the team relay.