CIRCLEVILLE — A Circleville girl competing with the U.S. Junior Olympic Team finished eighth in her Luge event last weekend in Lake Placid, New York.
Jalynne Davis, 13, finished eight out of nine girls in her Luge event at the Empire State Winter Games, competing with girls from all over the United States. Luge is a sport that involves one or two people on a sled speeding down a track and has been part of the Winter Olympics since 1964.
Avis finished with a time of 51.982 on her first run and 50.119 on her second run for a total time of 1:42:101, about seven and a half seconds behind the leader who had a total time of 1:34:505. Her speed was 79.12 mph on her first run and 80.46 on her second run.
Davis said she thought the event went well and that she’ll be more confident going into her next race.
“It was fun,” Davis told The Circleville Herald. “We did two runs and it was fun because you got to hear everyone’s times. I got to go fast.”
Davis said her sled was broken for the competition so she had to use a “trainer” sled, which moves slower than the ones used in competition.
“The part I steer with snapped so I had to use the other sled, which is why my times are so slow,” she explained. “My other sled I get like 47 [seconds] to 48 [seconds].”
Christina Davis, Jalynne’s mother, said she thinks Jalynne will be more comfortable for her next competition at Nationals.
“Her steering is the hooks where the feet go and that piece completely broke off,” Christina said. “She was fortunate she didn’t wreck the day before. I’m hopeful she’ll do better at Nationals because she’ll have more practice on the sled she’s using.”
Christina said it was nerve-wracking watching Jalynne compete.
“That’s the first time I’ve seen her in person sled,” she stated. “I don’t watch her trainings because I don’t want to add any pressure. It was really exciting to see her do her thing.”
A boy ahead of Jalynne crashed and was injured badly, so that was on her mind during Jalynne’s runs, Christina noted.
“I didn’t care where she placed as long as she didn’t get hurt,” she added. “The boys went sledding before her and a little boy got hurt before her. I was just hoping she didn’t wreck. I was happy to see she was going straight at the start and not swerving.”
One of the challenges of participating in the events is the traveling and lucky for the Davis’ there are other families from the area that can help share the load.
“We’re very fortunate that there are three other girls from the Ohio area, and we’ve been coordinating so we actually don’t have to take her there this time,” she said.
Davis returns to training on Sunday for a week, returns to Ohio and then has Youth Nationals competition at the end of February.