Sorry about the delay in this post, for some reason my internet didn't work yesterday.
The Jrs had their sprint race yesterday. It was very foggy/cloudy and the temps hovered around 30. Our US kids had a solid day that might be summarized by the saying "so close and yet so far". The final results Erik B in 23rd,Eric P 31, Tyler K 36 and Sam T 72 for boys (out of 101). For girls, Sophie was 24th, Jesse 26th, Joanne 45th and Adele 59th.
Let me start by saying that I think they all gave great efforts and raced well. The field is tough. Many of the skiers here have been racing and scoring in World Cups!
With a little luck, we would have placed better. Eric P missed the heats by .03 seconds. Jesse got tangled in her 1/4 final start and spun around and crashed. She gave a great effort to catch up, but couldn't do it. Sophie and Erik B both skied great in their 1/4's, but both made the same tactical mistake. The course is only 1.3 km and it is very hard to pass. There are some sharp turns and a bunch of gentle turns. The field is very tight (10people per sec in qualifying) so after the start everyone tends to get strung out in a tight line and snake along through the course following the "best line" The only way to pass is to make a strong and bold move. Both Sophie and Erik had 3rd place in their 1/4 heats and they tried to slingshot wide around the second place skier on a sharp corner at about .9 kms. They both had the same result.... the leading skier sensed them and pushed them a little wide...and while doing this opened up the inside for the trailing skiers to dart through. End result...instead of slingshoting to 2nd, they were pushed back to 5th :(. The last .3 km included two 180 degree turns and no one made passes there all day so that's where they ended. Their attempted passes were not bad, they just did not work out. Only the top 2 are guarenteed to move on and they had to try to move up. If the lead skiers had not slid wide, they may have made it. Exciting skiing regarless!
The U23 sprint is today. I'll try to get more pictures and write a more in depth report this afternoon!
Congratulations to WJC sprint champions Thomas Northug (Norway) and Hanna Brodin (Sweden).