USA Nationals 2014 – Only Way Is Up!

Seems like this year has been flying by and the competitions keep coming up faster and faster every month. I was excited about Nationals this year to see where I was at now that it has been about a year and a half after my hip surgery. Even though the doctor said the recovery was about 6 months to a year I finally feel that I am getting back all of my strength and power again. It also was a test this year for me to travel so much and be able to stay consistent with training as well as staying healthy. Most of the team, including myself, would not  be tapering for Nationals since we would be competing in Pan American Championships and World Championships in the months to come.

It was a little disappointing that there was only eight women competing at the US Nationals this year, but great to see that there were a lot of men as well as youth athletes coming up to start Pentathlon.

The fencing started out well for me and I was in 4th place after this event. I had a very good swim and swam one of my personal best times at altitude. This helped me to move up into 3rd place. I recently have become an athlete representative for blue seventy which is a swim suit company that specializes in race suits and triathlon gear. I was able to wear my new race suit, the nero14 kneeskin, and I absolutely loved it along with the practice suits that I have been able to try out. I am able to get others a 25% discount by using the code: bluecrewSA. Part of the money made from the purchases, 15%, will come back to me and help to fund me to competitions leading up to the qualifications for the Rio Olympics in 2016.

The riding went well, but the optimum time was extremely tight and difficult to make even with cutting a few turns close. I finished the riding with a few seconds time penalty and would start the combined in 3rd place, 65 seconds behind the first position and 40 behind second.  It is always fun to be able to compete on home turf and in Colorado Springs, but can definitely add to some of the pressure when so many people are watching, especially during shooting. This would be great practice to test my focus under pressure in the combined event.

My first few rounds of shooting were good all under about 13 seconds. I was closing ground and getting closer to second and first place. After leaving the shooting rand on my last lap of the run I wasn’t far behind and was able to run my way up to finish in second with my first silver medal at USA Nationals. I have gotten bronze at Nationals four times and gold once so I was very happy with the outcome and to have a really strong run and swim.

At Nationals some of he athletes also competed in a relay event after the men’s competition and I was on a team with Dennis Bowsher. He was also the silver medalist for the US Men and we have competed together before in relay events, so this would be a fun event for both of us. Overall we had a pretty good day. Our fencing was enough to keep us close to the top two teams; Marguax and Brendan, and Isabella and Amaro. We had a very good swim and ride keeping us in third place starting the combined.

My second round of shooting wasn’t as good and we were unable to catch the first two teams, but still kept a spot on the podium and came third place. We were both pretty tired and worn out from having to run hard in the individual competition so we were happy with the result and some friendly competition.

It was right back into training after the competition to get prepared for the Pan American Championships just a few weeks away as well as World Championships in September. These events would both be very important for the season and as always wanting to end the season with a really solid performance at World Championships.