Parkite Arndt wins gold medal in Calgary
Brittney Arndt, who raced to a gold medal in Calgary on Sunday, led a USA Luge medal haul as a double Junior World Cup came to a conclusion on the 1988 Olympic course.
The win for the Park City, Utah racer came in snowy weather in a region of western Canada known for changing conditions. The U.S. junior and youth luge athletes accounted for a total of seven medals over the two international events.
“After not having the best race on Friday I was pretty nervous for today,” said Arndt, who placed eighth in the opening event on a windy night. “All I wanted were two clean and consistent runs. My first run was great besides the track being covered in snow.”
Starting eighth, Arndt, who said she was not enamored with the forecast for snowfall, settled into second place after one heat, just 0.02 of a second behind Russia’s Tatiana Tcvetova. In the first event on Friday night, Arndt also occupied second place after one run. This time she finished the job.
“My second run was great until I hit the wall right before the last curve (14) and all I could think about was reaching for the finish eye to get my time. I was at the finish listening to how the Russian girl ahead of me was doing and when she crossed the finish line and I was still in first I couldn’t believe it.”
Arndt’s two heat time of 1 minute, 30.599 seconds topped Canadian Brooke Apshkrum’s 1:30.698. Tcvetova was next in 1:30.759.
“The track crew did a great job keeping everything clean for us so we had a good race,” said the winner.
Arndt swept the Norton National Championships and seeding races last March in Lake Placid. She, along with Jonny Gustafson and Grace Weinberg, benefitted from the opportunity to spend fall training with the national team. She also took a silver medal in the Calgary one-heat grid race.
“I think training with the national team up until a few weeks ago, put me in a great position going into this season,” she continued. “I’m more calm and collected before and during races, and working harder and harder each and every day. They welcomed my teammates and me with open arms. We’ve come so far since then.”
The weekend success story extended further, however, as Arndt raced the lead leg in the team competition where she teamed with Sean Hollander, of Lake Placid, and the doubles team of Dana Kellogg, of Chesterfield, Mass. and Duncan Segger, also of Lake Placid. They collaborated for a bronze medal to close the four days of racing at Canada Olympic Park.
Ashley Farquharson, another of coach Jon Owen’s Park City proteges, left Calgary with a pair of bronze medals in the two Youth A girl’s races.
Kellogg and Segger accounted for three medals as they also took a pair of silver medals in the Youth A doubles events.
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It wasn’t easy, but the Miners dispatched Region 8 rival Salem Hills in five sets on Wednesday, earning momentum heading into the first round of the Class 5A state playoffs.