RUMFORD, Maine — Since the 2012 U.S. Nationals kicked off Tuesday, there was plenty of action and comments to go around throughout the weeklong event, which ended Sunday. Here’s a look at what didn’t make it in print:
On the week (which included freestyle sprints, 10/15 k freestyle individual starts, 20/30 k mass starts and classic sprints):
“I’m just really thrilled, it was kind of unexpected so I’m just really happy with it.” — Jessie Diggins (USST/CXC), who technically swept all four races (was first American in classic sprint, 2nd overall)
“I’m very happy with how my week went, I had fantastic support from APU with the skis and logistics and all that kind of stuff, and the body really felt good.” – Dasha Gaiazova (CNST/RMR), 1st in classic sprint
“It wasn’t what I was looking for this week, but it’s racing and there were some good things and it was a fun week. … Just looking forward to the next races in Milan next weekend, really excited for that.” – Ida Sargent (USST/CGRP), 4th in classic sprint, after placing 2nd in 20 k mass start for her best result of the week.
“It’s definitely good to be feeling strong. This was my first [sprint] that I’ve advanced all year, ’cuz I’ve been in Europe on the World Cup, so it’s like everything’s building this year, so I’m definitely excited to go home and get some good training.” – Skyler Davis (USST/SMS), 5th in classic sprint
On Sunday’s classic sprint:
“I was definitely feeling the rest of the week, I was like, all right, I’m a little tired, a little sore, but I’m just going to hang on as long as I can.” – Diggins
“I knew coming into the downhill my skis were amazing, so I’m just like, ‘Well hey, they’re still there, might as well go for it.’ ” – Kate Fitzgerald (APU), 3rd in classic sprint after passing Ida Sargent (USST/CGRP) on final straightaway
“It seemed good on that turn all day, but like it always goes, I think I hit a little patch of ice and then rolled a ski over and then the boot hit the ground. I tried to save it by doing some awkward-jump thing, and I think that put me higher in the air, and then I just fell right on my shoulder. I think I popped it out, but I got it back in. It’s bruising pretty fast, but it’s fine. I’m just gonna pop some Ibuprofen.” – Reese Hanneman (APU), 11th in the classic sprint after falling in the B-final. He was in the lead until that point.
On sprinting strategy:
“I really wanted to make sure I had my tactics right this time around because in the skate sprint in that long downhill … if you were in the front people could draft you really well. I did not want to be in front going into that downhill. I was just trying to hang on and I was able to slingshot Ida [Sargent] off of the downhill and then double pole it in.” – Diggins
“I went for it on the hills ’cuz that’s my strength and wanted to drop people, and I couldn’t get a big enough gap and it was a huge slingshot advantage. So I was on the wrong side of that.” – Sargent
“I had some really good training over the holidays. I went to Silver Star and trained there, I did like a mini-volume camp there where I skied my heart out and I came here … really to do some good intensity and be able to get in the final … and get some racing under me before I had back to Europe.” – Gaiazova
On choosing races wisely:
“I absolutely love sprinting and I wanted to do the skate sprint, but I have a lot of racing coming up and this was more of a preparatory racing period for upcoming World Cups. And I had this long discussion with my coach and I was dead-set on doing all four and after talking and discussing how to feel by the end of this we decided it would be better for me not to completely push myself into the ground with four races over a week and just do a bit less racing, get better training and that would set me up better for Milan and Otepaa and Moscow.” – Gaiazova
On the World Cup:
“I definitely gained a lot of experience. It didn’t really sink in yet, but I think a couple months down the road, [it will]. … It takes a while to process it.” – Davis
On Fast and Female and Zumba:
“We did Fast and Female [Saturday], that was fun. We did some warm-up Zumba over at Gould [Academy] in Bethel. All the APU girls did that; it was an awesome day. The girls that came out from all over Maine were awesome. … I think I got way too into it, by the end I was like sweating, but it was really fun.” – Fitzgerald
“A bunch of CXC girls went down, APU was there, University of Vermont brought some people, I think Dartmouth had people so just a lot of us girls went over there to help. It was a shortened event, but it was still really fun. Dancing, always, can’t pass it up.” — Diggins
On Alaska Pacific University (APU):
“They’re so kind and they adopted me for the week. … When I called they were like, ‘For sure we’d love to have you.’ … We had such a good time staying in the [Bethel] hostel … I feel really lucky.” – Gaiazova
For complete results from the week, visit the 2012 U.S. Cross Country Championships website.
Alex Kochon (email@example.com) is the former managing editor at FasterSkier. She spent seven years with FS from 2011-2018, and has been writing, editing, and skiing ever since. She's making a cameo in 2020.