Today was everything I would expect from an Olympic Trials Day.. there were lots of excited, and nervous athletes, there were smiles after first runs, and there were upset paddlers after first runs. There were also smiles after second runs, but quite a few upset paddlers after second runs as well. Parents running around, doing their best to support their kids, wives, husbands, kids, and fans all offering support for their favorite paddlers. There was a big group of volunteer judges and organizers who have been doing this for many years, many familiar faces smiling and also focusing on each paddler, doing their best to make sure this was a good, fair race. Spectators lining the banks with cameras, beer, umbrellas, binoculars, and all cheering on their favorite paddlers. The announcers were fired up, with Scott Shipley and another C1 guy that I have known for years, but forgot his name. Calling the shots as the paddlers make their moves, for better or worse. This is not only what you would expect, but such a great venue for personal growth, retrospect, resolve, and excitement that can be interpreted so many ways, but any of the ways cause your heart to race and your mind to race. Everyone wants the same thing- to do the best they can with the skills and physical attributes that they have at their disposal. that is a tall order for anyone, anytime. Doing your best from the top of a race course, to the bottom, with physical fatigue, water changing, wind, luck, and the natural tendency to make mistakes somewhere along the line puts the odds of that happening pretty low. I go for doing better than my average run as a goal, giving me a 50/50 chance of being “happy” with my run. I did two runs and both were better than average in terms of hitting gates, as i had two clean runs, pretty sweet! I also, however, missed some key moves that I wouldn’t normally miss, so my times were slower than average. I was good 80% of the time, and slow 20% of the time. Like all 80/20 rules… the 20% puts you back 80% of the way from where you want to be.
I finished 7th in the USA today. The team consists of 3 people. I think I am about 10th in the USA on an “average run”, so I guess I was better than average for my runs today. I bettered my “odds” today, which was a good start. My goal is, of course, top three, just like it should be for USA Team Trials, as this race is to select the USA Team, and getting 4th is not on the team.
Emily was 4th Among the USA paddlers after her first run and I think she maintained that after her second run, but I am about to go to bed and haven’t seen a compiled race day yet. From what I could see, she got 4th- which is in the zone for making the Under 23 team, but 1 place out for making the senior team so far.
Dane was a few places behind me on both runs, so I am not sure what place he is in overall. The results have the Canadian paddlers in there as well, so you have to remove them to see the placing for the USA paddlers. Dane paddled really well and nailed some good lines. He also nailed a few gates, but that was from trying to go so fast.
Look for a report from Canoe and Kayak Magazine on the day- done by Jamie McEwan. It will have the actual results and stories of the top paddlers and what placings, etc..
p.s. going to bed now!