Parkite leads junior luge squad
Park City junior luge racer Ashley Farquharson got the international season underway Thursday in Lillehammer, Norway, with a fourth-place effort in a Junior World Cup event.
The two-day series began the qualification period for February’s Youth Olympic Games at this same venue.
Farquharson, 16, used the fourth-best final heat on the 1994 Olympic track to bring herself up from seventh place. She had two runs totaling 1 minute, 47.549 seconds in the Youth A division, for athletes to the age of 17. It was her first event abroad.
The 2015 Norton Youth A National Champion was right behind three Russian lugers, led by Olesy Mikhaylenko, who registered the two best individual heats and took the gold medal in 1:46.641.
Mackenzie Rice, of Mariposa, Calif., bronze medalist last year in the Norton Youth A National Championships, placed 16th in 1:48.555.
Brittney Arndt, of Park City, who had three top-10 finishes in the Junior World Cup last season, took 20th in 1:49.083, while Samantha Carone, of Park City, the 2015 Norton Junior National Championship silver medalist, was 21st in 1:49.122.
Grace Weinberg was headed to a strong finish until encountering problems midway through the second leg. The Middlebury, Vermont, resident, fourth last winter as a member of the U.S. relay team at the junior world championships, powered her way off the start handles with the second best start times of each heat. Weinberg stood in sixth place at the break, but her troubles concluding the last leg of the race sent her back to 18th place in 1:48.753.
USA Luge put two youth A boys in the top 25, as Justin Taylor of Newark, Delaware, raced to a 14th-place finish in 1:38.292. Paul-Lukas Heider of Germany was the winner in 1:36.417, ahead of sleds from Austria and Italy, respectively.
Sean Hollander, of Lake Placid, was 24th in 1:39.099 for his two trips.
The Italian youth doubles team of Felix Schwarz and Lukas Gufler emerged victorious in 1:46.022. They had the two best runs of the race.
Duncan Biles of Herriman, Utah, and Alanson Owen, of Park City, fifth last year at Whistler, B.C., were 10th in 1:55.620.
Quincey Cummings and Mitchell Andrus, two Parkites, turned their experience in sailing and hospitality into an adventure travel business, which as an adventure of its own.