Saturday, April 3, 2010
Jackie Hernandez, Maelle Ricker and Carle Brenneman.
Sunny skies and 65 degree temps have been the norm for the last three days at the Nor-am SBX final in Tremblant. The course built by Head Canadian SBX coach Renee Brunner provided plenty of air, step downs, and technical sections. Over a minute long this course set the stage for some challenging racing. The sun and warm temps kept the vibe loose and the slush made the course seem more forgiving. Jackie Hernandez sitting in second in the Nor-am standings had complete focus and a positive attitude coming into this one. The fate of the title lay not in her hands but in the hand of Chloe Banning who had a 172 point lead before the day began. Jackie's focus was simple, stay on line, have good starts and pass when you have openings. Focus on your own riding and let the cards fall where they lay. With gold medalist Maelle Ricker of Canada laying down the fastest time of the day followed by Chloe and Jackie, the stage was set for and exciting afternoon of racing.
All three girls would pick apart the field heat after heat and all landed face to face in the finals. By advancing to finals Chloe had safely secured the title and almost with a sigh of relief took some of the pressure off. The only focus then became the podium for the day. Jackie greased the start and hung on Maelle's tail through the whole course but could not find a place to pass the experienced world champion. Jackie finished on the podium in second and marked her highest points of the season!
Days like this are few and far between and Jackie rode hard, stayed focused and finished strong. I am very proud of her accomplishments this season and her second place finish in the nor-am standings (46 points behind) and her very successful day here in Tremblant. Few get to share a podium with an Olympic champion, and it has been an amazing season.
Off to Colorado in the am to join the team for USASA nationals.
Enjoy the break!