Monday, January 19, 2009

Rumford Eastern Cup weekend: The sprints

Thanks to Jamie Doucett for all the sprint pictures!

This past weekend I headed north to race in an Eastern Cup in Rumford, ME. The sprint was Saturday, and the mass start classic race was Sunday.

The qualifier went well for me, and I ended up 10th in a tight field. Going into my quarterfinal, I knew it would be tough, as I had Sophie Caldwell (#1), Hilary Rich (#11), and Lauren Jacobs (#21 I think). I had a good start, but then I hesitated, not wanting to lead, and tried to tuck behind Sophie. Hilary took this moment of hesitation to move up, and Sophie kept sliding back, it felt like. Going into the uphill, I tried to hold my position behind Sophie, but somehow lost it to Heather Mooney, another Stratton skier, on my left, and Lauren on my right, putting me in the middle where there wasn't really room for a middle. Rather than freak out and flail and break everyone's equipment I chose to slot in 5th on the outside and hope to get around people. I got around one by the crest of the hill, got around another on the S-turns, and worked the downhill as hard as I could but Sophie and Hilary were enough in front that there was no chance of getting into that coveted 2nd place. Heather almost beat me to the line but I sneaked in third, a possible lucky loser. Given that I had been in the first heat, I got the chance to fully cool down and cheer for our J2s before finding out if I was a lucky loser. Turns out I was, so I tried to get back warmed up for the semifinal.
I'm in the back, stuck in fifth coming up the hill.

I don't even remember who was in my semi, but just after the start, I was in a very good position, until somehow I got taken down. I don't know who did it, only that it felt like my ski got pulled behind me and then my knee wrenched funny and I went down tweaking my shoulder too. I got up slowly, it sure sucks getting old, I bet if I were a J1 I would have bounced right up and kept going. The other girls were long gone, so I skied the rest of that lap slowly to take my place in the B final.

The B final had some good sprinters too, and my main goal was to at least be even with my qualification place (4th in the heat for 10th overall). We started out and I had a decent start, slotting into third. I moved up to 2nd on the hill, but got a little bumped on the first turn and moved back into 3rd. Coming down the hill I was in contact with 1st and 2nd, but I couldn't get enough speed to slingshot around them. It came down to the fact that Sophie McClelland and Corinne Prevot are just faster finishers than I am, and I finished in fourth, although it was close.
Just after I fell in the semi-final. Its my new dance move, the butt spin with skis on.

In the end, it was fun to ski in all the rounds, and I'm glad they used the lucky loser format, giving me a chance to do more than just a quarter final. Good times!


Zoo said...

Looks like fun stuff! What's that device around your leg above your left boot?

Alex said...

That is actually my garmin; it is where I store it when I'm ski racing since it doesn't have a wristband. In the summer I stick it down my sportsbra, but thats pretty cold to get to in the winter...