Today was a solid day for the US junior women. We had a 12th (me), 24th (Reid), 40th (Glen), and 50th (Mooney)! With 78 girls racing, I’m proud to have all our girls in the top 50.
The guys finished 35th (Patterson), 43rd (Cartwright), 51st (Dougherty), and 56th (Kornfield). Kornfield also broke a pole during his race. So we didn’t get through our races completely unscathed, but I think overall it was a good day!
I was pretty nervous going into the race because I was seeded 10th, which gave me a sweet starting spot – middle of the second row! And a minute into the race, I was right where I wanted to be, near the front and collision-free. Then in the span of 30 seconds, my whole race changed drastically. A girl to my left pulled a sketchy lane switch and ended up tangled in my skis, and we both went down. I broke my pole and when I got up, I got knocked down again by a German girl who fell right on top of me (oof!).
By the time she got off of me and untangled, I looked around and realized that 1.) I was in last place, 2.) I had a broken pole and was right in-between the spots where our coaches were stationed, and 3.) this wasn’t quite how I’d visualized my race going the night before.
Luckily a Canadian coach had a spare and came running down the first hill as I was going up, and I was able to get it on and get going. North Americans have each others back! My race strategy changed from “stay with the lead pack” to “well, now you’ve got nothing to lose, so do everything you can…to catch everyone you can”. I relaxed a lot more and decided to just try to have a technically good race, so I was thinking a lot more instead of letting adrenaline take over, which I think helped me ski smarter.
I’m also super excited because the US women rocked the pit exchanges in the pursuit! We’ve been practicing and it’s exciting for me to finally have a good equipment switch under my belt because I haven’t had much luck in the past; it was a mental road block I had to get over. But I looked at the results and found my pit split was 3rd on the day. It turns out being really relaxed and thinking helps a whole lot more than frenzied action!
And although I don’t have any photos from today since we had to get back to the hotel and rest for tomorrow’s relay races, I DO have photos taken of the Eurosport TV station from the women’s classic sprint races (yesterday). It’s fun because when you make the heats, the camera gets up in your face as the announcer tells your name before the heat leaves, so people sometimes just glare and sometimes do funny things.