Nordic Combined Athlete
Jumping Farther, Skiing Faster
The second day in Ramsau, Austria was something out of a dream. I woke up in the morning feeling ready to go. I Put together a great comp jump, with a distance of 92 meters landing myself in 13th place. The way the results worked out it put me in striking distance for a top 10 with a good race. Todd Lodwick jumped to 10th place only 5 seconds ahead of me. This was another stress reliever because I knew I would have someone to work with throughout the race. Todd being a veteran I knew that I could follow his moves to help me land a top 10 finish or even a podium.
When the race started the first lap was a lot of fighting for position. I knew I need to hang back and save energy but I didn't want to get left behind if there was an attack on the group. So I made sure to stay in a safe position in the group. Going onto the second lap Todd lost a ski which is a rare event in our sport. After that I was on my own. On the third lap I found my self in second place leading the pack. This was not where I wanted to be but I had to pick up the pace because a group was coming from behind and I knew if they caught us I would be in trouble if it came down to a sprint. I lead for about a 4 K, at which point two guys attacked splitting the group in two. I was unable to fully match their acceleration and ended up between the two groups going into the down hill. Long story short I was able to hold off the group behind us and ended up in 8th place. This was my first top ten finish on World Cup. A few short months ago this was still something of my dreams. Something I was hoping to accomplish one day. I was ecstatic to have it be so soon in the winter. Earlier this year in Kuusamo, Finland I was able to land my previous career best of 18th. So and 8th was a big step for me. The best part is I know I am capable of doing it again. This day was not and exceptional performance on my part or at least I don't think it was. I felt good but not great. I also know I am capable of jumping into the top 10 on a good day.
From here my goals are still the same. I don't want to get over zealous after my one good result. My focus is still on my training and technique and not the results. The results will come if I can conquer the technique and training.
We are back home in the U.S. now to relax and enjoy the holidays with our families before heading back to Europe on the 3rd of January for three more weekends of Competitions before World Championships.