Tuesday, December 14, 2010

North American Cup, Finals and a Massive Thank You!

If you've been following me on Facebook or happened to hear Trails End yesterday, then you already know that I had an amazing season opening weekend.
Our season opener which is usually in Canmore is never a race to miss. A lot of team selections are done as part of that race and it's usually a packed house. This weekend was no exception with Alberta, NWT, BC, Saskatchewan and Ontario all using it to pick to their Canada Winter Games teams, the start of Alberta's selection for Provincial Team and the race to fill the final men's and women's Team Canada spot for World University Games. I was extremely thankful to be pre-selected to World University Games and had nothing to fear when I stepped to the start line.

The Mighty Vikings in Black

Saturday was the 7.5km sprint, (3x 2.5km loops with 1 prone and 1 standing shooting sets). After a great zero with my rifle (huge sigh of relief from both Hans and I as my shooting has been off for awhile) I was ready to rock. The sprint holds 30 second individual starts and I scored the last starting spot, my favourite. After a strong first lap skiing the wind had picked up, I risked a sight correction and was rewarded with clean shooting in prone and the lead position in the race. The wind now dead for the standing portion I was able to fire off a quick 4 hits and have a comfortable last lap. Karen Messenger, Kathryn Stone (my team mate) and the rest of the Senior Women category are amazingly fast skiers and talented shots, so despite a 9/10 shooting I pushed until the line not entirely sure who was in what place. I ended up with a North American Cup win and a new personal best by almost 3 minutes!

Game Face on For Lap 1 of the Sprint

Look at that follow through as Kat races to 2nd!

Sunday I was a marked person! The 10km pursuit works off the results from the sprint. The winner leads out, the rest of the category is delayed 5 seconds for every place back they are, first one across the line wins. This race was a fight! With the wind and snow constantly changing shooting required a lot of focus and with 4 opportunities to win a trip to the penalty loop, you had to be on your game! Karen had an amazing race and beat me in the range every round. Despite a new level of power that has helped me keep up in ski speed, I couldn't hold her as she had a strong race! Way to go Karen!

With a first and second under my belt I won the overall weekend and am currently North American points leader! Congratulations to the NWT athletes who all had amazing races, especially Joseph Lirette and Gaylene who saw podiums! Also big congratulations to Jon Skinstad and Kathryn for podium finishes and Lauren Brookes and Kai Skinstad for receiving the final Team Canada spots!

Meet our new assitant coach Noel, way to rep the Viking gear

I arrived home to find a letter from Sport North informing me I had received a High Performance Grant. This annual MACA/Sport North support takes a massive weight off many NWT athlete's shoulders and allows us to focus on training and performance. Thank you so much Sport North and MACA!!

Its finals time in school land and naturally that also means the weather is warm and there is fresh snow to ski on that I must resist. Exams finish up the 22 and I am home the 23 for some family time and training on my home trails!

Wish me good grades!!

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