|Coming in to the Tetons Thursday night|
US Nationals in Jackson took the top three men 1) John Gaston, 2) Jason Dorias, 3) Luke Nelson. It was a cold start with about -15F , but with the inversion it was 12F, 2,500' above. After 7,900' of vertical folks were destroyed, but it was time to rest, recover and reload for day two over at Grand Targhee. The men's field was the most stacked I had ever scene in my eight years of skimo racing!
|Michael Hagen, Ram, JB, Wick previewing the Jackson course on Friday|
|Wick trying to warm up at the start of Jackson|
|Jari warming up at Jackson|
|Ready...Go! JB with the "nose Buff"..three minutes later we saw a MOOSE run across the ski trail in front of us! No lie|
|Your top Men's & Women's results from US Nationals 2013|
|I had to bring the family! Me, Gianna (2.5yrs old) and Jennifer|
No pics from Grand Targhee, but the racing was hot and heavy with two men being chosen at the finish line based upon results Eliminating those who already qualified at Jackson Hole the previous day)....those top two men who qualified were 1) Tom Goth and 2) Marshall Thompson...two newer guys to the scene but clearly very skilled and fast. Marshall is a CB guy who has been cranking it up on the mountain running scene and this is carrying over well to skimo. Tom is from the Wasatch and an Iron Man competitor in the Summer season.
Now it was an epic 11 hour drive home rest, recover and get back into life and some how try and get psyched up for one last battle at Sunlight, where they would take three more men's spots....with a deep men's field, surely some fast guys would unfortunately miss out.
|Meredith June Edwards (Jackson)-3rd, Janelle Smiely (CB) - 1st, Jari (CB) -2nd!|
|Luke Nelson (Idaho) - 3rd, John Gaston (Aspen) - 1st, Jason Dorias (SLC) -2nd|
|Cheese balls ;)|
The first descent was tricky off-piste crusty, tree lined skiing with terrible terrain traps that put a premium on DH skiing in funky conditions. I saw some ugly crashes and divot holes from other racers and played it conservative to the transition. Smithy was already losing skins on the course but didn't look back. The second descent saw all the competitors battling on a long tricky mixed descent with one final climb.
On the final climb, Max Taam had pulled away on the previous descent and Smithy blew a skin or two ...so it left Ruckman, me and Simmons battling for the last two spots....with Andy Dorias "hugging a tree" on that previous descent a little too long to remain in contention. Ruckman with his gifted uphilling abilities pulled away from Simmons and me. Near the top Simmons and I knew we could make some good time on Ruckman, but who wanted that potential last slot?!?! I threw in a hard dig with 10 seconds to the top and put a tiny gap on Scott and held it on the finish, passing Jason Dorias on the way down but not catching Ruckman (3 seconds at the line! ugh!!!).
I was elated as I got the very last spot on the 2013 team....probably the fastest team we have ever sent over to Euro land!
|Sunlight Results for Men|
|Sunlight Women's Results- Jari not such a hot day for her.|
|Mike Preston, Jason Dorias, Wick, Marshall Thompson, Scott Simmons, Smithy....and UpSlope!|