Luge Canada

Canadians Strike Gold and Silver at Junior Luge World Cup in Park City

John Fennell slides to gold, Mitchel Malyk wins silver for Canadians in season opener

 PARK CITY, USA – Canada’s junior luge athletes got off to a blistering start to the 2011-12 season after sliding to a gold and silver medal at the season-opening World Cup event in Park City, Utah on Saturday.

Calgarians John Fennell and Mitchel Malyk swarmed the podium for Canada winning gold and silver respectively in the junior men’s race. The 16-year-old Fennel took advantage of two strong starts to clock a winning time of one minute, 30.450 seconds.

“I was surprised when I crossed the finish line and saw first beside my name,” said Fennell. “I had two very fast starts which were my best all week. I was looking to get into the top-10 so I am very happy with this result.”

Fennell was joined on the junior men’s podium by fellow Calgarian, Mitchel Malyk. The 16 year old posted a silver-medal time of 1:30.549 on the 2002 Olympic Track.

“I had some trouble on the starts today, but I was able to have two solid runs down the track,” said Malyk, who won the silver medal recently at the Canadian Luge Championships. “We had been itching for these type of results last year so it is great to get it done. It is a sign of a lot of hard work over the summer. I’m excited for the rest of the season.”

The Canadian duo were joined by Russia’s Roman Rapilov who clocked-in at 1:31.099.

Meanwhile, Canada’s first Vancouver-Whistler legacy baby to earn her way onto the national luge squad had a stellar result in her first international race. Jenna Spencer, of Whistler, B.C., narrowly missed the podium in her first-ever Youth World Cup with a fourth-place finish in Park City, Utah. Spencer posted a time of 1:26.435.

The United States’ Theresa Buckley thrilled the hometown crowd with the gold medal after clocking a two-run time of 1:25.931.

Canada’s Emily Pacheco also had a solid result, placing sixth with a time of 1:26.669.

Justin Tobin and Taylor Donegan were the top Canadian sled in the youth men’s doubles race. The Canucks stopped the clock at 1:25.289. The youth doubles race was won by Jacob Hyrns and Andrew Sherk, of the United States, who posted a golden time of 1:23.478.

The youth and junior World Cup continues on Sunday in Park City, Utah.

The Canadian Luge Association is a not-for-profit organization responsible for governing the sport of luge across the country. With the financial backing of its title sponsor, Fast Track Capital, along with the support from the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, the Canadian Luge Association safely recruits and develops the nation’s current and future high-performance luge athletes with the goal of regularly climbing onto the international podium. For more information on the Canadian Luge Association, please visit us at on the Internet.