USA Luge’s Ashley Farquharson races to 4th place at the Junior World Championships

By Sandy Caligiore | Feb. 01, 2019, 11:18 a.m. (ET)


(Ashley Farquharson photo by Fred Zimny)

IGLS, Austria – Ashley Farquharson staged a second run rally Friday to finish fourth in the International Luge Federation’s Junior World Championships outside Innsbruck, Austria.

Farquharson recorded her best international result of the season to date, coming in the year’s most important junior event. The performance occurred, ironically, after struggling at the beginning of the week.

“My week of training was a little rough,” she said after the race. “Having so many runs on a track, you can start to make silly mistakes. Luckily, I was able to pull everything together in the last couple of training runs.

“The funny thing about my race runs is that the first one was alright, but I was very happy with it. I knew I could find some time and I knew what I had to fix. And then the second one was much better. I just didn't think it would be that different time-wise.”

The 19-year-old emerged from seventh place after the opening heat with the second fastest final leg. Her opening run of 40.788 seconds was topped by a 40.673 finale. Farquharson, in her final junior worlds, was helped by quick getaway times to begin both runs. She totaled 1 minute, 21.461 on a cloudy, comfortable day in the Austrian Tyrol.

The Park City, Utah racer was 0.02 of a second from the podium, and less than 0.1 of a second from the winning time of Germany’s Cheyenne Rosenthal.

“Going into the race I was really hoping for a top 10 result, so coming out with fourth is a huge victory in my mind,” continued the American. “It's my best junior finish. I'm very happy to leave my last Junior World Championships with such a solid result. I definitely have a bit more confidence going into the next few races in Winterberg and Oberhof.”

Italian Verena Hofer was the silver medalist, coming on the heels of her Junior World Cup victory two weeks ago in St. Moritz. Another German, Jessica Degenhardt, picked up the bronze medal.

Farquharson’s teammates Sophia Kirkby was 14th, while Chevonne Forgan took 25th. Forgan had start times in both attempts that rivaled Farquharson’s.

Kirkby, of Ray Brook, N.Y. continues to race up in age group. She clocked a two-heat total of 1:22.247. Forgan, of Chelmsford, Mass., clocked a combined 1:23.554.


(Sean Hollander photo by Fred Zimny)

USA Luge had two men who qualified for the top 25 final run. Sean Hollander, from Lake Placid was 13th and Keaton Jens, of St. Charles, Ill., placed 18th. Zachary Digregorio, of Medway, Mass., was 27th; Ian Smith, of Carlisle, Mass., finished 35th.

The gold medal went to Germany’s Max Langenhan, the younger brother of retired Olympian Andi Langenhan.

The Junior World Championships conclude Saturday with doubles and the team relay. The events will be live streamed beginning at 3 AM ET at

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