This was an awesome weekend! It was the University of Colorado Invitational, which means all the best college skiers in the nation, as well as an optional race for USCSA. UW, CMU, WCU and Air Force all came to test themselves against the big dogs of RMISA and it was great fun!
Ella had just returned from US Nationals and the travel delays for the SNOW team were extreme, leaving most of the athletes with lingering illness. Ella was no exception, spending much of the week trying to catch up on sleep and get healthy enough to race. On the morning of the 5km free it was a little touch & go as to whether Ella would feel good in the race but she was well enough to try and try she did!
At the half-way point of the 5km Ella was tied for 3rd with Bryant from Air Force and Brown from CMU and 30 seconds down the Berrigan from WCU. With only about half a kilometer of uphill, Ella's favorite, and 2km of downhill & flat left it seemed unlikely she would be able to do much better than 4th but she proved herself not only a hill climber but a good downhiller as she beat both Brown & Bryant and gained 10 seconds on the leader! She finished 2nd in USCSA for the day and only 1 second out of a University of Alaska Fairbanks athlete!
The second day was a mass start classic, traditionally Ella's weaker technique. Ella was anything but weak in this race! Although a tad slow off the gun in the mass start she s0on found her rythm and started picking people off. She soon found herself well in front of the entire USCSA field and fighting with the Alaska skier that beat her the day before. She kept skiing stronger throughout the race and by the end beat the Alaska skier by 17 seconds and second place in the USCSA race by 1:22. Crazy awesome skiing from someone who last season struggled with classic races!
We are super proud of the improvements in fitness, technique, and ski skills Ella has shown and we are looking forward to more incredible racing.
YOU ROCK OUR WORLD!
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