Parkite Ashley Farquharson takes fourth at luge Junior World Championships
Ashley Farquharson is having her best season ever.
The 19-year-old local luger started her final junior season with back-to-back seventh-place finishes in the junior world cups in Park City, fourth in the junior world cup in Winterberg, Germany, won the Norton Junior National Championships in Park City for the third time in a row, then capped her season with a fourth-place finish at the Junior World Championships in Igls, Austria.
Farquharson and her teammates began the season under new coaching, which she said has resulted in a positive atmosphere, and a more rigorous preseason. In December, her new coach Robert Fegg, told The Park Record Farquharson had logged more runs before the season started than she usually would in an entire season.
But her subsequent success still surprised Farquharson.
“Everywhere we went, I placed higher than in previous years,” she said. “Even on tracks that I had sometimes struggled with, I managed to put down two clean runs on race day.”
Farquharson said she had struggled in the past on the track in Oberhoff, Germany, where she finished 18th last season, and in Igls.
But she placed 11th in Oberhoff this season, and was thrilled when she took fourth at the Junior World Championships.
“I just wasn’t expecting it at all,” she said. “I was going into race day really wanting to get in the top 15. I came down my first run in seventh and I was so shocked, I said ‘don’t panic, just get a clean second run,’ and my second run ended up being the second fastest run overall.”
It was the perfect way to cap a successful season.
On Wednesday, Farquharson was training with the national team in Lake Placid.
She had been invited out to try new equipment and train. She said she already knows most of the national team.
“We’re such a small sport,” she said.
But soon she will get a chance to join them as her own teammates.
When fall arrives, she will compete in a race-in for a spot on the team, which will only take four of the five competitors to travel on the World Cup circuit. Farquharson will compete against Emily Sweeney, Summer Britcher, Brittney Arndt (a fellow Parkite), and Raychel Germaine to establish a position at the next level.
Until then, she will continue to train with national team, then take two weeks off before returning to Lake Placid in late April or early May for dry-land training.
Farquharson said she would look back on this season fondly.
“I had so much fun this year,” she said. “I don’t even know how to describe it. Our coaches were so supportive, our teammates are so supportive. I feel like I kind of pulled it out of thin air, but I know a lot of hard work went behind it in the long run.”
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