March 19, 2011

Well, I was in 8th place...

Unfortunately, I can't say I stayed there. Let me explain.

The Sprint in Oslo on Thursday went well. I had one penalty and finished 23rd-just 0.7 seconds behind my teammate, Haley Johnson. Today was the pursuit, and it was really exciting having the two of us starting so close. I shot well, with only 1 penalty in the first three stages. Leaving the range after cleaning my first standing shooting, I heard the announcer say I was in 8th position. I focused on skiing my own race, and tried to catch a ride when another woman passed me out on the trail. As I came in to shoot, I tried to think about my own race and doing things the same as any other stage, and not about the fact that I would be shooting on point 9...because I was in 9th place. Unfortunately, my legs and my nerves did not cooperate and I missed 3 targets. I was able to have a solid last loop and finished in 20th place. Haley also had a solid result, finishing just behind in 21st. It was an amazing experience for me, one that I will learn a lot from and certainly benefit from in the future. I would have loved to have shot better in the final stage, but even so it was a great race. And next time, I'll be better prepared and hopefully things will go differently. It really allowed me to see what's possible and where I should strive for next season.

The course in Holmenkollen overlooking Oslo.

The best part of the results was that both Haley and I qualified for the Mass Start tomorrow. It's the first time, perhaps ever, that two US women have started a World Cup Mass Start. It will be a tough race at the end of a long season, but it will be a great way to end this fantastic year. And then-back to the US for some much deserved rest and relaxation! Just one more time!


Luke said...

Go out with a bang!

kerstin said...

Hi Sara,
Great result today in the mass race, congratulations.
We've been watching your and the US teams's exceedingly plucky performances with great pleasure all season, so let me wish you a great vacation, a great time training this summer
and let me say THANKS ! for providing me and the rest of my Biathlon mad family with even more fun watching and cheering in front of the TV this winter.

Cheers from Kerstin and Family, Venlo, the Netherlands