MASSENA - Jonny Gustafson of Massena raced to a fourth place finish in a field of 10 young lugers Friday in the Youth A men's national championship race in Park City, Utah.
The first of two Norton Youth Seeding Races for men under 17 was dominated by Youth Olympic Games gold medalist Tucker West.
The series format calls for two separate races Friday and Saturday. Points will be awarded for each race. The total points will help determine team status for the fall of 2012. Times will then be combined from both days to crown a Norton Youth National Champion in each age category.
On a quintessential Wasatch Mountain bluebird day, West, the National Guard USA Luge Start Champion, exploded twice out of the start, and took the drama out of the event quickly. He grabbed a half-second advantage after one leg, and stretched it further in his final attempt.
West's two times down the 2002 Olympic track totaled one minute, 29.969 seconds, giving him the Youth A victory (to the age of 17) by nearly 0.7 of a second. West defeated Riley Stohr of Whitehall, Mich., whose two runs totaled 1:30.651. Third place went to Justin Krewson, of Eastport, N.Y., in 1:30.836.
Gustafson went down the track in 45.363 on the first leg and 45.4 on the second leg for a combined total of !;31.073, 1.104 seconds off the pace set by West.
“It was alright,” said West, 16, of Ridgefield, Conn. “I had a few problems out of (curve) 10. But it was OK.”