XCFeedsBack in the Saddle Again

Avatar scott johnstonJanuary 2, 2010

Our first race at the US National is over and from the coach’s perspective I am pleased and proud of all three MOD skiers. They have made a very strong recovery from their over training episode of a few weeks ago. Their hearts and minds were fully in the races today.br /br /Sadie went out in the A seed in 8th position this morning in the qualifier. Starting just before dawn. AT 10:04 AM!!! The temp was minus 15C. That is about 4F and there was nice breeze coming off the ocean. She looked strong right from the start. Her finishing position at 6th was very solid but she lost a few seconds in three critical places. It was not her best effort and she knew it and we talked a bit afterward about how she might make up that time. As the Quarter Final approached I could tell Sadie was in a good head space and had lots of confidence. She and I were ready for her to win this quarter final.br /br /She started with her trademark blast out from the gate and by 50 meters had a nice 2-3 meter lead and began to relax into her stride. I turned from the start to run to the best hill to watch in the stadium when I heard the announcer say Sadie was down. I could not see her or the pack. I knew she would have lost her lead but didn’t know by how much. When the pack emerged into view Sadie was off the back in a distant 6th place. I knew that if anyone could make up the distance it was this girl.br /br /She skied her heart out for the next 1000 meters. She looked strong and smooth as she made headway in every stride. She had dropped a good 5-7 seconds in the fall. and closed all the way back up so that coming into the final straight she was closing fast on 3rd place which would have allowed her to advance in the semifinals as the lucky looser. Sadly it was not to be and she just missed getting 3rd.br /br /While you could cut the disappointment with a knife there was a silver lining. It was a great learning experience. She could have won the heat so her confidence is high. We have more racing all week.br /br /The men went off at 11 and the weather had not warmed one iota and in fact it was not -16C and the wind had kicked up. Sam was off in 17th position and also in the A seed. Just before the race Sam allowed as how he was not feeling well and had a little stomach bug thing. He was game and otherwise feeling strong so off he went.br /br /Sam’s qualifier went pretty well and he finished 16th. He looked smooth and was super quick looking. We talked about some areas where he could have made up a few seconds. However , when the heats were posted Sam ended up in a very strong heat and we knew he would have his work cut out for him. The eventual 2nd and 5th place finishers took off and set a fast pace making a 10 meter break over the top of the course’s biggest climb. As the skiers entered the stadium and made the climb over the underpass Sam closed the gap and really looked like was going to be back in the hunt. Our skis were very fast and he was able to tuck right in behind the leaders.br /In the final 300 meters the whole pack accelerated and Sam was out sprinted to the finish.br /br /He left nothing on the table and it was good race but I know he has more in him. Coming off the long recovery period Sam has had I am quite pleased to see this result and know he’ll only get faster and stronger.br /br /Erik was out next just 2 minutes later. Winding up the qualifier 23rd overall and 4th junior was an encouraging result and we headed off to the wax room to get everyone skis ready for the heats.br /br /Erik is not typically the fastest starter and he left the stadium in the quarter final in 4th or 5th place. As he re-entered the stadium and the three remaining climbs Erik made his move and started to pass one after another. As the pack disappeared over the last hill for the final 300 meters into the finish, Erik put on one final move and took the lead. He kept pulling away all the way to the finish line looking like he was in full control.br /br /In his semi finally heat the leaders made a break that left Erik in the second pack and it was obvious to him that he could not bridge the gap and since only the top 3 would move on to the A final, he made the wise tactical move to coast in to save himself for the B final.br /br /The B final was an exciting race and Erik skied well. Local Methow skier Brian Gregg, now racing for CXC skied a very strong B final heat finishing 2nd and 8th over all. Erik moved up to finish 4th in the heat and 10th overall as teh second junior. It was a tremendous result for a junior and Erik’s first time to crack the top 30 at senior nationals. br /br /More racing to come.br /Scottbr /br /br / br /br /input id=”gwProxy” type=”hidden”!–Session data–input onclick=”jsCall();” id=”jsProxy” type=”hidden”div id=”refHTML”/divinput id=”gwProxy” type=”hidden”!–Session data–input onclick=”jsCall();” id=”jsProxy” type=”hidden”div id=”refHTML”/divdiv class=”blogger-post-footer”img width=’1′ height=’1′ src=’https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/2910103639238326543-2487432475963041337?l=methowolympicdevelopment.blogspot.com’ alt=” //div

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