Saturday, December 31, 2011
The racing here in Alaska has come to a close, along with the most frustrating and stressful race series of my career. The racing got off to a terrible start in the sprint, when I missed 4 or my 5 targets, and then missed 2 of my 5 in standing, giving me a mere 40% hit percentage. My poor prone shooting continued into the pursuit race, luckily I shot 90% in standing and skied well enough to take 2nd place. I started the final race of the series, a sprint, determined to hit some prone targets, which I did, cleaning the prone stage with a respectable range time. Skiing continued to be good and I was riding a 45sec cushion into standing, when I totally broke down and dirtied (missed all 5!) the stage. This mental breakdown has prompted me to seriously assess my mental preparation for competition, and the state of mind I need to hit targets. After the dust settled, and all of the results had been calculated, my poor shooting prevented me from making the percent back cutoff to qualify for the Junior World Championship Team. I still had a chance to be selected to the team at the discretion of the coaching staff, but I had to wait for the official team naming, a full 4 hours after my race. Fortunatly I was nominated to the team based on my ski speed and past results. My nomination won't be final until the International Competition Committee finalizes the nominations, but I was included in the press release so I should be good to go. I am entering the new year with renewed determination to improve my shooting both technically and mentally. On a positive note the picture of me all frosted over was the cover of the Anchorage Daily News!
Saturday, December 24, 2011
I am currently with my family for the holidays after the conclusion on an up and down race series in Minnesota. It was great to be back on my home course and to see some familiar faces helping to run yet another outstanding set of races at Mt. Itasca. Some of the highlights of the weekend included leading out the mass start race and much of the second lap due to fast clean shooting in the first stage, and discovering that my new Rossignol X-ium skis are quite fast, even compared to my best skis from last year. Overall I was satisfied with my prone shooting, and ski speed, however I really struggled shooting standing. I am glad I had the opportunity to get some quality racing in before Junior Trials in Anchorage, AK.
I leave on Christmas morning for Anchorage, where I will compete in 3 races which will decide the US team for the Junior World Championships in Finland. It will be great to see my friends from across the country, and I am really looking forward to racing again.