This year has started out with a bang! January, I was in San Marcos, TX for a slalom training camp, then Chilliwack, Canada in February, and then I headed out to Charlotte, NC in April to start training for my Jr. Slalom Team Trials. It was really good to be back in Charlotte, and they had changed the course in several spots making it totally different than the previous year. After about four weeks of training, it was finally time for Junior Trials and I was pumped! The course was a lot harder than it had been for senior trials the weekend before (which are a 2 part race with the first race being in Charlotte, and the 2nd race at the new whitewater center in Oklahoma City), but I was still super excited. Once we watched demos and I walked the course with my coach, we headed back home, had a good nights sleep and were up bright and early the next morning! It was chilly when we arrived at the course, making everything steamy and foggy, which postponed the race an hour because the timing couldn't work. When the race finally started, I was feeling pretty good, although a little nervous. My first run was ok, but an unfortunate penalty on a head duck left me in third going into second runs in my kayak. I had had a fever the day before the race started, so I made the decision to skip my first C1 run and focus on getting a good second K1 run. After eating some food, walking the course with my coach again, and indulging in some nice quiet time, it was go time again. I felt really confident in the start eddy. I knew exactly what I needed to do and I knew I wasn’t going to mess this run up. I splashed my face a few times at the 30 second mark, closed my eyes, took a few deep breaths, and waited for the 5 second countdown. As soon as I crossed the start line, I was in the zone. I had a flying run with only one touch and a time that put me in first in junior women (and third in Jr. men). After that, I ran back up with all of my excitement and transferred it straight into C1. I had been C1ing a lot in the winter and had been feeling great on the course. Once again, I peeled out of the start eddy, crossed the start line and was gone! My run was awesome, having a few touches, but great lines the whole way down!
The race wasn’t over yet though, we still had day two! Once the new course was set, we watched demos, walked the course, and then went back home to get some rest. The next morning, the race was delayed a bit again, but it started up fairly quickly. I was feeling good in the start eddy, but on my first run I touched the first gate making me snowball a bit on the rest of my run with 5 touches putting me in second. I skipped my first C1 run again, and after trying to refocus during lunch, I was ready to race again. My second run was going pretty well until I jumped into the last up gate and hit it with my paddle, where it then went on the wrong side of my head as I was peeling out, giving me a 50 second penalty and keeping me in second. Fortunately, I was able to put it behind me and throw down a sick C1 run! At the end of the 2 day race, I still grabbed the top spot with my 2 day combined times in K1 and took the top spot in C1 as well! I then finished off the day with an awesome playboating session to celebrate!