March 31, 2009: A Good Race!

PHI Snowboard Team - Eden & Jondre Mina at Mt. Tremblant

PHI Snowboard Team - Eden & Jondre Mina at Mt. Tremblant

Mt. Tremblant, Canada – While the course for today’s parallel giant slalom was not as challenging as in Isola, the snow conditions were extremely difficult. For the past few days it has rained on the mountain leaving it with poor snow coverage, dirty runs and slushy conditions. The anticipated warm temperatures would make deep ruts form quickly making choice of line of utmost importance.

I started 18th today and my first run was decent. I almost disqualified myself on the second gate; I saw the nose of my board go inside the gate but quickly turned my attention to the next gate so my boots must have gone around the stubby which was okay. I felt like I charged it coming out of the start gate but got a little out of control and went pretty wide on an early turn and took a while to get back into a rhythm. My second run was not as good; the course was already so choppy and rutted out and I made a big mistake at the bottom which also caused me to loop out really wide and lose time. But at the end of the qualifiers I was 16th, the last place to make it to the finals.

I was pretty excited! It was a tough field of girls, US and Canadian national teams, so to make the finals was no easy feat. Because I placed last in the finals I had to duel the number one qualifier who happened to podium recently on the World Cup and coincidentally sold me my current snowboard.

I really had nothing to lose so I charged out of the gate and attacked the first few gates. I could hear when she switched edges so I made sure that I did too in order to keep up with her. And to my surprise I did! I was round and felt smooth. She slowly got away from me and I made a few big mistakes towards the bottom, but overall the run was good and I was off by only 1.22 seconds. People later told me that I rode well – yay!

Unfortunately the second run did not go as well. The red course was not only rutted but bumpy within the ruts. I came out of the start well, especially with my newfound confidence from the first run, but as soon as I hit a bumpy rut my confidence and aggression went out the window and I just struggled to hang on. My line was too tight and I kept falling hard into the rut at the gate. It was ugly and I finished way behind.

But overall it was a good day! I ended up 16th which may have given me 50 points. I need the average of my two best races to be 50 points to be eligible for the Olympic qualifying World Cups, so this is definitely a big step towards that goal. And I know that I can ride well; once again I still have to learn to let the tiger out.

Tomorrow is the parallel slalom, a race discipline that normally I don’t like, but with my ‘new’ used board I’m really excited about it! I feel like I can trust this board a lot more than my old board and therefore be more aggressive. It actually turns! So I’m not going just for the 50 points tomorrow, I’m going for the win!

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