Adam has written a wonderful summary of his week of racing at Junior Nationals at Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe VT. We’ll post his report, and pics he has pulled together photos from friends, family, and the internet, in several parts. Stay tuned, too, for a post about Erik and Sara’s weekend competing at J2/U16 Championships at Rikert Touring Center in Ripton VT!
Monday: Classic 5k
My race plan was to ski the entire course very technically well (especially kick double pole and low tucking taking a good line on the downhills), and then imagine at the bottom of the last huge hill that I had just done a warmup with slightly too much L4 and it was the start of a 1.4km classic sprint. I hammered over the top of the uphill and transitioned to kick double pole, gaining momentum over the top of the hill. I double poled the gradual downhill and flat, then hammered all the way into the finish. One thing that helped me out was the winner started 15 seconds behind me. Though I couldn’t catch him, I was able to draft off of him and copy what he was doing for part of the race, bringing me up to the second fastest New England skier in the race and a sixth place finish… in the nation 🙂
Wednesday: Classic Sprint
Having never made a sprint heat before, I really wanted to this time so I could ski more than 1.4 km really really hard. I thought about how I could ski every single section of the course as hard as possible. I strode out of the start, and then went into a double pole. On the first uphill, I double poled, but I should have kick double poled. On the last uphill, I strode as fast as I could and finished in 22nd. I felt like I could have gone faster, but I made the top 30 cutoff for the quarterfinals.
I ended up in a relatively stacked quarterfinal with Anders Hanson and Forrest Hamilton (two New England skiers). I started off well, but was in the outside lane and dropped off to last place. I stuck on the back of the group, but was unable to move up until the uphill. I skied the corner perfectly and took the inside lane. Everyone else was on one of the outside lanes and I had the inside lane all to myself. I hammered the hill, trying to ski long fast powerful strides. I went from ten feet off fifth to fifth place right behind fourth over the course of the uphill. The inside lane was shaded by the fence and gave my colder wax amazing kick. I went into the finish neck and neck with the guy in 4th. I needed to beat him to have a chance at making a lucky loser spot in the semifinals, so I hammered the finish and slowly drew ahead of him before crossing the line. I didn’t make the semifinals, but got to ski in my first sprint heats as well as beating somebody sprinting to a finish line.
Forrest Hamilton went on to win the race for team NE. Go Forrest!