Luge Canada

Krause Enjoys 'First Real Success' Calgary Luger Scores Big Upset

Paul Magrani, Calgary HeraldBarrelling down an icy slope is nothing new to Jorgen Krause.

He Set the wheels in motion a long time ago with a humble beginning as a youngster on a GT Snow Racer.

Since then, an avid interest in go-carts has nourished his racing desires, which for the past eight years have included a passion for luge.

And fittingly on Daytona 500 Sunday, the Calgarian drew on his experience of the past to provide a glimpse of the future as he raced to his first junior luge national championship in junior men's II competition.

The 17-year-old scored a stunning upset over the rest of the 13-member field -- some if whom are members of Canada's Junior National Team -- at Canada Olympic Park to win his third national title in the sport. He previously won Junior I and Youth II titles.

"This was my first real success" said Krause, who finished ahead of Calgarians Kyle Connelly and Mike Moffat, both National Team members.

"I was pretty confident going into training (Saturday), but race day can be a differnt story. I had some luck on my side (Sunday)"

The Grade 11 student at the National Sports School pieced together two exceptional runs, including his first down the COP track which exceeded 114km/hr for the day's fastest time (48.132).

"Today was a combination of things coming together," he said. "What I was really aiming for was two good, clean runs. I think we found them. Both were very consistent.

If consistency was the day's objective, then the Junior II women's event provided the perfect forum and little in the way of surprises.

Calgary's Lindsay Danforth captured her seventh straight Canadian Championship and successfully defended her National Junior II title with a come-from-behind victory over silver medalist Abbie Lovatt. Jessie Lalonde was third.

After Sunday's first run, the 15-year old Danforth trailed Lovatt by 1/1000ths of a second, but made up the difference with the quickest time (46.497) in Women's competition during her final trip down the track.

"I know if I have two good runs, I can do well," said the Grade 10 student at Bowness High School.

Since she started sliding at age nine, Danforth has reached the top of the podium every year in several age divisions.

She nearly cracked the Junior National Team this year, but a broken foot during qualifying kept her from reaching that goal and also set her training back two months.

Now Healthy, she's motivated by the prospect of representing Canada on the Junior World Cup circuit next season.

"Next year's a great opportunity to make the team," she said. "I've got my confidence back and I'm sliding really well right now. I hope it carries over to next year."

Krause shares the same ambition, believing his 27th-place finish last December at the Viessmann Senior World Cup in Calgary -- and Sunday's national title -- can propel him to loftier heights.

"I built off of that," he said. "I was able to analyse what I was doing and in really benefitted me. I'm pretty excited about the possiblilities. I think that this proves that I can slide."

Krause and Danforth will conclude their seasons next Sunday at COP in the Canadian Senior Championships.

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Copyright 2000 Calgary Herald and Paul Magrani