The last week of July is possibly the busiest week of the summer for myself and my team. This week was the Springer Tournee and US National Championships in Park City, UT. This week brings essentially every ski jumping and Nordic combined in the US together for a week of training and competitions. It may be one of the busiest weeks of the year, but it is also one of the most exciting as well.
On Tuesday of Springer Week, the Park City Ski and Snowboard Club organizes a "National Team Mentor Day" in which each athlete on the National Team is assigned a group of kids to coach for the day. In the morning we run through a standard field testing session and then in the afternoon we coach the same group of kids on the ski jump. This year was my first time being one of the National Team mentors and I had a blast coaching kids from all over the country!
On Wednesday, USA Nordic held it's annual Summer Soiree Fundraiser. This is event is a huge fundraiser for our organization and brings in lots of money to fund our teams, as well as gives us athletes a chance to meet some of the people in the community who support us throughout the year. I was stoked to take part and meet some new and old friends at the fundraiser as well as help USA Nordic raise some money!
While Tuesday's mentoring day and Wednesday's fundraiser are fun events to be a part of, the main focus of the week is competing. On Friday, we competed in the Springer Tournee Competition on the k90. This event was a great way to prepare for the weekend's National Championship competitions without having as much pressure on your shoulders. I competed in the junior class (under 20 years old) and was able to walk away with 4th place, behind 3 really promising men's junior national team ski jumpers. Any time a Nordic combiner, like myself, is able to be in the fight for the podium with the special jumpers, I consider it a good day!
Saturday morning marked the first day of ski jumping National Championships and the only day of Nordic combined National Championships, both held on the k90. Like the day before, I jumped to 4th place in the Nordic combined class and would start the race 42 seconds behind the leader, Ben Loomis. Unfortunately I wasn't feeling it on the cross country course and struggled my way through the 10k race at Soldier Hollow, but was unable to move up any spots and finished the race in 4th. I wasn't happy with the way I raced, but 4th place at US National Championships was my best finish to date!
On Sunday, we competed in HS134 National Championships, this time for just ski jumping. I can't say that I was feeling too great after the race on Saturday, so I knew that this day of jumping would be kind of rough. As I expected, my 3 jumps for the day were not fun. But, it happens. Thats part of the sport so while I can be disappointed for the day it doesn't mean that I need to let one bad day of jumping impact my progress that has been made on the hill.
And that's how the week went! We are at home for another week and then will head to Minneapolis to do some more work with the Mayo Clinic, USA Nordic's awesome Medical Partner. Stay tuned!
Follow along as I post updates about training, traveling, competing, school, and life in general.