The final day of the 2012 United States Cross Country Ski Championships once again challenged the techs as they needed to dial in the perfect kick without sacrificing too much glide as fast skis were critical today. Here is what some of the top brand industry wax techs were recommending.
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RUMFORD, Maine — Dasha Gaiazova of the Canadian National Ski Team posted the fastest qualifying time in the women’s 1.4 k sprint qualifier on Sunday in 3:28.14, beating runner-up Jessie Diggins (USST/CXC) by 1.81 seconds.
Ida Sargent (USST/CGRP) was the third fastest in 3:31.68, Kate Fitzgerald (APU) was fourth, and Rosie Brennan (APU) was fifth.
“It’s a really fast course and kind of deceiving,” Gaiazova said. “It’s a 1.4 k, but it skis really fast, lots of transitions, lots of turns so I’m really excited for the heats because there’s going to be a lot of places where you can make moves.”
She’ll be going for her first national victory in the U.S. after placing second to Diggins in the 10 k freestyle earlier in the week. She won the classic sprint at Canadian nationals last year, and last raced a classic sprint in November on the World Cup circuit in Kuusamo, Finland.
“It’s a bit of a rarity this year on the World Cup circuit,” she said of the gap until her next classic sprint in Otepaa, Estonia, on Jan. 21. “It’s nice for me to do a classic sprint here and practice heats and all that stuff.”
She has been staying with APU, which has also helped with waxing, for the week.
“It’s been a bit of a long time since my last race on December 18, and it’s just a great racing opportunity,” Gaiazova said. “All the elite of North America are here, and I feel so priviledged to be able to come here.”
The leading woman from APU in the qualifier, Fitzgerald said her skis were fast.
“Feeling the 20 k a little bit there, but it went a lot better than I was thinking it did,” she said, referencing Friday’s classic mass start.
Fitzgerald said the snow was fast with some “chopped up ice,” which she said was “nice and quick.”
The men’s heats kick off with the quarterfinals at noon, and the women start their heats at 12:25 p.m.
Top 10 Qualifiers
1. Dasha Gaiazova (CNST/RMR) 3:28.14
2. Jessie Diggins (USST/CXC) 3:29.35
3. Ida Sargent (USST/CGRP) 3:31.68
4. Kate Fitzgerald (APU) 3:37.74
5. Rosie Brennan (APU) 3:38.98
6. Sophie Caldwell (Dartmouth) 3:39.72
7. Eliska Hajkova (CU) 3:39.83
8. Marit Rjabov (UAF) 3:41.36
9. Rebecca Rorabaugh (APU) 3:42.87
10. Lauren Fritz (APU) 3:42.97
Note: Link to live timing currently unavailable. Check back on the U.S. Cross Country Championships website.
RUMFORD, Maine — After the final races of the 2012 U.S. Adaptive Cross Country Championships, athletes and coach John Farra talk about the 6 and 12 k sit-ski and stand-up distance events and reflect on their week (with three total races, including the 0.8 k sprint and 5/10 k) at Black Mountain in Rumford, Maine.
On Thursday the predicted forecast called for up to half an inch of snow to start later in the day, but Friday morning the snow has already started and is predicted to accumulate to as much as an inch and a half.
For the waxers this definitely changes things, as they were preparing skis for racing on manmade snow, but now it is likely to to be slower on the flats and sugary on the climbs. This will make each team have to make the tough call as to which is more important; fast skis for the graduals or being able to kick the six or nine times up high school hill. It sounds like most everyone is hoping to throw the dart somewhere in the middle, sacrificing a little glide for kick. It will surely be a day for the techs as the wax will play a factor on the result sheet today.
RUMFORD, Maine — Cold overnight temperatures made the artificial snow at Black Mountain even colder than Wednesday, and coaches and wax techs have been out since before dawn retesting skis and getting everything dialed in for the men’s 15 k individual start (starting at 9 a.m. at 15 second intervals). The women’s 10 k starts at 11 a.m.
Guns were blowing snow all night in the field above the stadium, and those piles were used to add additional coverage to the 3.26 k loop being used for the 10/15 k freestyle race.
RUMFORD, Maine — Caitlin Gregg of CXC posted the fastest qualifying time of 2:52.2 in the 1.4 k freestyle sprint at the 2012 U.S. Cross Country Championships at Black Mountain. According to preliminary results, teammate and U.S. Ski Team member Jessie Diggins was second in the qualifier (2:58.8), Ida Sargent (USST/CGRP) was third, Maria Stuber (CGRP) was fourth and Sophie Caldwell (Dartmouth) was fifth.
Top 10 Qualifiers (according to live timing/preliminary results)
1. Caitlin Gregg (CXC) 2:58.2
2. Jessie Diggins (USST/CXC) 2:58.8
3. Ida Sargent (USST/GRP) 2:59.7
4. Maria Stuber (CGRP) 3:03.9
5. Sophie Caldwell (Dartmouth) 3:07.4
6. Anika Miller (Stratton) 3:08.5
7. Eliska Hajkova (CU) 3:08.7
8. Lauren Fritz (APU) 3:09.0
9. Emily Hannah (Steamboat) 3:09.1
10. Hannah Dreissigacker (CGRP) 3:09.3
Click here for results: http://www.uscrosscountryskichampionships2012.org/results.html
The men’s qualifier will begin just before 10 a.m. and the heats will start at noon.
The temperatures overnight dropped allowing Black Mountain to start their snow guns around 9:00PM last night and as we arrived on the course early this morning it was clear that winter had arrived, manmade at least. The morning temperature was holding around 18ºF and there is a strong wind out of the south. The course is hard and firm.
As the athletes start to pour on the warmup laps the wax techs at this point have made their choices for the skis. Here is what some of them are saying:
RUMFORD, Maine — After U.S. Nationals race officials postponed the first day of competition on Monday, they decided to move the freestyle sprints at Black Mountain to Tuesday. The races will start at the same time and venue (9 a.m. women’s qualifier, 10 a.m. men’s).
For the rest of the week, the 10/15 k freestyle individual races will be held Thursday (instead of Wednesday), and the 20/30 k classic and classic sprints remained on schedule for Friday and Sunday, respectively.
Organizers planned to blow manmade snow onto the course Monday night, when temperatures were expected to get below freezing.
With the cancellation of Monday’s U.S. Nationals freestyle sprint early that morning, several coaches arrived to Black Mountain in Rumford, Maine, to make their next move. They were told the jury would meet later Monday morning to decide when to reschedule the races, which were postponed because of overnight rain.
FasterSkier associate editors Alex Matthews and Audrey Mangan made it out to Rumford, Maine, on Saturday — two days before the 2012 U.S. Cross Country Championships kick off at Black Mountain. The Chisholm Ski Club and the mountain’s race organizers have clearly been working hard to get the sprint and distance loops ready for the weeklong event Jan. 2-8, and several racers training at the area on Saturday were pleased with the conditions despite the damp and mild weather (around 35 degrees).
While many will try out the 1.6 and 1.4 k sprint trails for the first time on Sunday during the “official training” at Black Mountain, the video above gives a glimpse of the especially wide trails — the stadium of which is shown being checked for homologation standards — and the completely manmade base.
For more details on U.S. Nationals, including a schedule and course maps, click here.