Sunday, May 10, 2015

Part 1 of My Europe Trip: Estonia

Well, as the title states, I made the team in Minnesota, and was lucky enough to have been selected for not only the Junior World Championship Team, but for the small team going to Open Eurpoean Championships in Estonia as well!!  My Estonian adventure! 
The MWSC team at Trials in Grand Rapids, MN
So what happened for the last month that I have been gone? Well the end of January MWSC teammate Brian Halligen and our friend Siena boarded planes headed towards Munich, Germany to begin our European Biathlon tour of the season. We met Additional MWSC teammates Casey Smith and Maddie Phaneuf and our coach whom I had never met or trained with before Jean Paquet.  After lots of layovers, delayed flights, and barley connected flights the whole team made it to Estonia at about 1am, and took a three hour van ride from the Airport to our housing (which was located directly across from the stadium!) After almost 36 hours of travel we made it to Otepa
ӓ, Estonia for Open European Championships.

So how did the races go? And what races did we do? 

We started with an individual race that weekend…and the jet lagged was still there. Not feeling super snappy on the skis, but with two clean prone stages I was pretty excited, but bad standing shooting decided to rain on my personal parade…But I know I can shoot prone well, and the standing shooting is there I just need to keep telling myself that I can do it.
For the sprint race even though I felt more awake than I did the day before the legs felt tried; On additional bad note my head was beginning to feel a little stuffed and by the end of the sprint race I had a massive headache. After a terrible shooting day of only 50% and a migraine headache…I put it off to dehydration and still being a little tired from the long travel days that we had, and went out on course to try and cheer on our boys of Brian, Casey, Wynn and Russell for their races.
Starting nearly dead last in a pursuit race is the last place I want to be starting from. So I decided to make the best of it. My migraine had subsided to a dull ache that I pushed off to just being congested from the weather in Estonia, and I as in the back with the Mass start a good starting spot for me if I have to be in the back. The first half went great! After an aggressive push to the front of the pack that, I had an okay prone stage and went on to continue to hold my place with only one miss in my second prone stage…of course it was then on the flattest part of the course I decided to take myself out by planting my pole directly into my ski boot. A face full of snow later and a minute lost untangling, it was a hard mental struggle to get my head back into the shooting and skiing game.
Siena and I got to explore some of the awesome ski trails while we were not racing
Though these races did not go exactly the way I wanted them to it was good to get some more biathlon races other than trials under my belt other than trials in Minnesota before Junior Worlds in Minsk!

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