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Utahns place second and third at youth luge national championships


LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — On a clear, cold Adirondack morning with slowly rising temperatures, Theresa Buckley of Allentown, Pa., added her third Norton Youth A National Luge Championship title in as many years.

The competition format featured two runs on Saturday and two runs on Sunday. The National Championships were determined by adding those four runs together.

Buckley won comfortably, clocking a combined time of 2 minutes, 58.892 seconds over Katy Simi, who earned the silver medal thanks, in part, to a very fast final heat. Simi, a Park City, resident and daughter of three-time luge Olympian Bonnie Warner-Simi, clocked a time of 3:00.036. Nikol Yonemura of Salt Lake City earned the bronze medal, despite being one of the smaller athletes in the field of competitors born between 1995 and 1998. Yonemura's time was 3:00.227.

The two days of competition were also treated as stand-alone seeding races, used to help determine the make up of next year's junior teams.

On Saturday, Buckley held off second place finisher Yonemura and bronze medalist Simi. The Sunday Youth A women's competition saw Buckley in front again, but Simi and Yonemura reversed spots. Stohr won the first race, with Krewson in second, but the finish order flipped on the second day. Gustafson was third both days. Kirkby, Cave and Jeskanen made up the top three on Saturday, with Ashley Farquharson, of Park City, winning Sunday's event. Kirkby was second and Cave third in Norton Seeding Race No. 2.