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Graybill places second at Nationals
By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org, Staff Writer
It’s been somewhat of a roller coaster first season of skeleton racing for Savannah Graybill.
But this past weekend in Lake Placid, NY, the Cocalico High School and American University graduate completed her rookie season on the circuit on an extremely positive note.
Graybill, a member of the United States National Women’s Team, finished second at the 2012 U.S. National Skeleton Championships, losing only to fellow American alum Megan Henry of Roxbury, Conn.
Henry (3:46.06) posted the fastest times in all four heats to claim her first title in her second year sliding as well. Graybill had runs of 56.65, 57.22, 56.09 and 56.77 for a total time of 3:46.73. Her third run enabled her to move up into silver medal position with a total time of 3:46.73. Meghan Sullivan (Bluemont, Va.) posted the third best times of the evening to pocket the bronze medal with an aggregate time of 3:47.66. Lauren Salter (Idyllwild, Calif.) was in second place going into the finals, but a mistake in the last run bumped her into fourth place.
Reached Monday by email, Graybill said it was a great way to end her season.
"I was pleased with my second place finish after a season filled with many ups and downs, so it feels great to end on a high note," she said. "I had an incredible opportunity to travel overseas and to visit four new tracks in my rookie season alone, so I feel like I’ve gained a great deal of knowledge and experience in the process, as well as acquired the necessary tools to help me become a more complete slider."
Graybill began the sport a little over a year ago and since then has made an ascending climb while competing in events in both North America and Europe. She survived her first crash of her career in a race in Sigulda, Latvia earlier this year, and has competed in places like Finland, Lillehammer, Norway, Park City, Utah and Calgary. She says she is beginning to understand what it will take to reach her ultimate goal which is to compete at the 2014 Olympics.
"This (second place) finish will assist me in setting challenging goals for next season, and will serve as a motivator for training over the coming summer months," she said. "I’ve been surrounded by an incredible coaching staff that is willing to help me succeed in any way possible, which is truly an invaluable gift. Without their perspective and input, I wouldn’t have been nearly as successful."
Graybill said she will stay in Lake Placid for the remainder of the week before returning home to PA on Saturday.
"I may be training in Lake Placid for the summer, but until our federation (USBSF) knows how many beds they are allocated for bobsled/skeleton athletes, I won’t know if I receive housing until early April. Until then I’ll train and work at home." More GRAYBILL, page B-4