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American doubles team wins third straight junior luge title

February 22, 1997

OBERHOF, Germany (AP) _ The United States doubles team of Christian Niccum and Matt McClain won their third consecutive world junior luge championship Saturday.

Maryann Baribault of La Canada, Calif., finished second in the women’s event, which she had won the last two years.

All three Americans raced on the World Cup tour this season, but are eligible for junior events until they turn 20.

Niccum and McClain had the two fastest times of the day and were more than a second ahead of the field. Their total time was 1 minute, 21.617 seconds.

The German sled of Maik Sachse and Nico Zink was second in 1:22.703.

Baribault’s bid for a third straight crown fell seven-hundredths of a second short to Britta Steinmetz of Germany.

Steinmetz was clocked in a two-run aggregate time of 1:25.026.

First-year luger Courtney Zablocki of Highlands Ranch, Colo. was ninth.

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