USA Luge names 2020-21 junior teams
LAKE PLACID — The future of USA Luge, numbering 76 athletes at various levels, was announced Friday, May 1 as the national governing body released the names of its 2020-2021 Junior National Team and Junior C and D teams.
Zack DiGregorio, of Medway, Mass., is the lone member of the Junior National A Team. DiGregorio recorded second, fourth and eighth place results last season on the Junior World Cup tour and spent time late in the year with the National Team. He was runner-up in the 2020 Norton Junior National Championship.
Five luge racers who competed in the 2020 Youth Olympic Games headline the USA Luge Junior National B Team. Doubles athletes Maya Chan, of Chicago, and Reannyn Weiler, of Whitesboro, fourth at the YOG, are well-positioned and gaining experience for Junior World Cup women’s doubles races, World Cup women’s doubles if the discipline should be added, and ultimately, women’s doubles at the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games if the event is brought into the Olympic program.
Matt Greiner, of Park City, Utah, competing in the Youth A World Cup, has also been elevated to the Junior National B Team as a result of his ninth-place result at the YOG and a gold medal in the 2020 Norton Junior National Championships where he raced up in age group and had the fastest runs in three of the four heats over two days.
Another B Team member is Sam Eckert, of Wilmington, who competed in both singles and doubles last winter. His highlights included an eighth place YOG doubles performance with Sam Day, silver medal in a Youth A World Cup doubles in Winterberg, Germany, also with Day, and was the 2020 Norton Youth National Champion in singles in Lake Placid.
Day, of Wantagh, partnered with Eckert in doubles. He raced in the YOG despite a foot injury. The problem kept him out the 2020 Norton Youth and Junior National Championships.
Sophie Kirkby, from Ray Brook, claimed the 2020 Norton National Championship. Kirkby also posted five World Cup results between 10th and 15th places.
Michael O’Gara, of La Crescenta, California, is among a pool of athletes named as doubles specialists. O’Gara teamed with Sean Hollander who has moved up to the USA Luge National Team. Together, they collected a pair of Junior World Cup fourth place finishes, sixth at the Junior World Championships, and won the silver medal in the 2020 Norton Junior National Championships.