I almost won a World Cup Skicross today! I was beginning to wonder if I even had what it takes after the first two events. I was 30th, and then 28th in those. Yikes! But yesterday I put it together and came in 2nd in qualifying. RIght then, I knew that I do have what it takes to be right in there.
The big race was today.
The first corner on the course was a hip jump, with a landing that was perpendicular to the take-off. I had a strategy for my line through it that worked really well in training and qualifying. I sacrificed a bit of speed on the in-run in order to land high on the tranny and generate some speed for the long flats that followed. The other girls were going off it with more direction than I was and were landing on the flats...which was the fastest way to get through the corner, but they weren't coming out with nearly as much speed for the straight stretch.
I wasn't able to hit it properly in my quarter finals, as I was in first coming into it and tried to protect my line. I got passed by two girls, one being my teammate, Kelsey Serwa, and dropped into third. My coach had said to be patient if this happened and wait for the 'basketball turn'. I stayed right on the girl in front of me and made an inside pass down at the basketball turn to advance to the next round.
In the semi-finals I was first out of the start and held the lead the whole way down.
The finals were really exciting. I was tight for 2nd out of the start, behind Ophelie and came out of the first hip with way more speed than Meryll. I went for a pass to take the lead and didn't quite get Ophelie before entering into the tight basketball turn, which is an off-camber hairpin turn. She went straight into it to protect her line and threw her skis sideways to pivot and make the turn. I had nowhere to go but into her, and got sucked right off the track with my ski in between hers. We both almost wiped out, and I was convinced that the girls behind us would go flying by, but I guess they were caught up in their own battle for 3rd. I was bummed for about half a second as I crossed the finish line behind Ophelie, and then it hit me that I'd just come 2nd in a World Cup Skicross. I was SO stoked! I'm still SO stoked! It was an amazing feeling, and an amazing day!