Lauren wearing her medal. Photo courtesy of Lauren Salter

Idyllwild’s Lauren Salter earned a bronze medal in the women’s skeleton race during last weekend’s America’s Cup competition in Lake Placid, New York.

In October, Salter began her season in disappointment. But she has persevered and has developed into an international competitor. Her third place finish of 1:54.03 was less than a second behind the gold medal winner, Randee Brooks from Canada and only .08 seconds away from the silver medalist from Great Britain.

During the fall, Salter began recovering from her dismal trial results and spent the winter becoming a better slider. Her coach Rebecca Sorensen worked many hours with Salter who was only beginning her second year, but has ended it as the only member of the women’s team to medal this weekend.

“In our sport of skeleton, most every athlete goes trough their second year (as what were refer to as the terrible twos) with a great deal of frustration,” Sorensen wrote in a email Saturday. “What was special about Lauren, was her tremendous ability to persevere over the many struggles our sport throws at you. She showed tenacity in her approach and learned the lessons she had to in order to finish on the Podium at the season’s final America’s Cup!”

This was Salter’s last slide of the season, but she is already thinking about the 2012-13 season. When asked how she was feeling about her accomplishment, Salter replied, “I feel great! It’s finally sinking in. It’s a huge result after how I started and I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity to race. One thing it does mean for the future is that I have an automatic spot in the 2012-2013 Team Trials in October, which is great.”

Salter’s goal is to make the 2014 Olympic team. She will have to make similar giant strides next year, but the possibility is no longer remote according to her coach.

“This is a very important year as it marks the beginning of the Sochi Winter Olympic hype. She is one of the strongest up-and-coming athletes and we are watching her closely,” Sorensen wrote. “We have high hopes for her to continue on this path of success as we approach the games and as she gets one step closer to her goals. She is a true representative of the ‘All American Athlete’ and we are proud to have her on our Team!”