Former Fellowship Christian School student Raychel Germaine last week took home a gold medal at the United States Norton Junior National Luge Championships.
The championships were held March 29-30 at the Olympic Sports Complex in Lake Placid, New York.
Germaine, a native of Roswell, had the best combined time over the four runs.
She won the gold medal with a four-run combined time of 3 minutes, 1.127 seconds to win the first major national title in her career.
Germaine, a member of the USA Luge’s Junior National Team, also competed in the 2012 Youth Olympic Games where she finished 14th. Her time at Lake Placid was just 0.902 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.
Raychel is the daughter of Bob Germaine, who was a member of the National Team in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He is currently a wrestling and volleyball coach at Fellowship Christian.
The victory was bittersweet for the Germaine family as Bob Germaine's mother Dorothy Esther Germaine passed away in Phoenix, Arizona, on March 23.
“Her three days of training did not go so well,” Bob Germaine said. “She said she felt tense all week, and she was obviously not her normal self. At one point she said to us, ‘I’m so tired of having to be strong.’ We talked about trusting the Lord, as He is in control. We also reminded her that she knows this track, she needs to trust in her abilities, and she just needs to relax.”
Raychel Germaine's parents advice worked.
In her first race on March 29, she posted two of her best runs of the week, 45.173 seconds and 45.044 seconds. Her accumulated time of 1:30.217 was 0.295 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher, and the time secured her the gold medal in the seeding race No. 1.
“The weather was challenging on Sunday, as a winter storm swept through the area over night, and dumped about 6-8 inches of wet snow on the track,” Bob Germaine added. “The track crew did a great job preparing the track for the race, but it was clear the track was about 0.5-0.7 seconds slower than the previous day.”
Raychel Germaine was the first competitor to run on Sunday among the women, and posted a time of 45.453 seconds. That placed her in first place by approximately 0.2 seconds. Her second run of 45.457 seconds was only 0.004 second off her first run, and was enough to give her first place in the second seeding race as well. Her accumulated time of 1:30.910 was 0.456 seconds in front of the second-place finisher.
As 2014 US Junior Women’s Luge Champion, the younger Germaine earned the distinction of being the top-seeded junior in the US, and she earned an automatic spot on the 2014-15 Junior Luge National Team.
“Thanks to everyone for your continued support of Raychel through your prayers, emails and financial gifts,” Bob Germaine said. “This moment could not have been achieved without your help.”