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US Nationals
Thursday, April 05, 2007

This is going to be a long one so I broke it up into sections…

When we arrived in Alaska I was totally pumped. The weather in Whistler was miserable – wet, foggy, and windy – so arriving in Alyeska to a cold blue bird day with great winter snow was a huge treat. Not to mention, the Alaskan Denali is magnificent. The schedule went DH, DH, SG, SL, and GS.

During the first two days of downhill training, I was making constant moves up in the ranks and was actually starting to fine-tune the line (which is a huge part in downhill). The first day of downhill racing was a FIS warm-up race a day before the national’s event. In the FIS downhill, I had a solid day. I took the two airs well, lengthened my arcs of each turn, did some decent gliding, and finished in 12th just over 2 seconds off the leader, Jeremy Transue, who had a spectacular day. I was satisfied with the performance and ready to ramp it up the following day to pick up some points and be in good standings for the combined. The combined, usually considered the fifth event, combines the overall time of both the downhill and the slalom race.


Unfortunate, bad luck tormented my plans as I came down the Flu (Influenza A to be exact) the night before the national’s downhill. I was up all night with a high fever (maxing out at 103.7 degrees). Thus, I spent the downhill race day in bed and at the Girdwood Clinic where I was lucky enough to be proscribed Tamiflu, the powerful anti-viral Flu medication. Just like that the downhill was gone. Marco Sullivan won the race by a full second.

The next day was the super g. I talked to my coach about skipping it, but woke up the next morning itching to race so I left my bed for the start still feeling under the weather. I came to Alaska to race, not to lie in bed. I had a great top section as my skis were running, but in the middle turny section I quickly lost elevation and scrubbed tons of speed to putt across the line into a disappointing18th place. Bode put together an impressive run to win the super g.

The next day was the slalom. I just came off a strong Canadian Nationals result so I was ready to get after it again. The first run, I put together some good turns, but ran out gas on the lower section and made a few unacceptable mistakes to finish the run in 12th. Second run, I dropped the hammer and in about the same section in the course I just ran out of energy and blew out. It was a disappointing day, but somewhat expected. I felt ok, but just didn’t have enough energy or strength to put down a solid run from top to bottom. Luckily we had a day off before the GS so I had some time to rest.

The final day of racing and my last chance to put together a good day at nationals started out quite well as I finally felt good- my body was over the Flu. I drew bib 3 so it was game on- the day was mine. I pushed out of the gate and took a conservative line around the first two gates. Ted (Ligety) went just before me and I opted to cut off his line and starting pinning the upper section. I was linking together some good turns, got a little back, hit some really grippe, inconsistent snow, hooked up (my skis dug into the snow and kept turning), and just like that I found myself in the air rolling onto my back going out of the course. I was fine, but just like that US Nationals we over without a single respectable result. Ted went onto win the race.

All and all, it was a tough series, but I was able to spend the week with my Dad who definitely helped my get through the Flu. He was running around making sure I had everything I needed. Thanks, Dad.

I’m currently in Park City, UT gearing up to drive to Colorado on Friday for six days of spring series racing to cap off the season. There will be a bunch of us in Colorado so there’s a good opportunity to score a couple more needed results before the season is complete.

I hope all of you are doing well. Sorry for such a long update, but I just didn’t have much energy to send one out mid series.

Take care, w

posted by Warner at 4/05/2007 08:31:00 PM


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