After a solid result at Mt. Hood I headed down to Mammoth, California for National Champs. The track and terrain were completely different from anything I had ridden in the past. There was not dirt, it was all rock ranging in size from pea gravel to larger boulders. The small loose rock caused constant changes on course making it tough to trust. The larger rock gardens stayed the same but were just as hard to figure out.
Once I got used to the track conditions I felt I could start to pick up some speed figure out where to push. The first two days of practice went great. Friday we had a short practice before seeding. I had a pretty bad crash in the upper rock garden that left me scrambling to get the bike fixed before seeding. That crash left me a little nervous but it was just seeding and I didn't have to push to qualify. My seeding run went well until I had another big crash further down the course that put me into 52nd place.
I came into race day feeling very soar and not super confident. I took two slow laps to build my confidence back up during practice that morning and started feeling at pace again. Having such a bad seeding the day before I was one of the first to drop. My run was much better than the day before and got myself moved up 19 places into 33rd. I still felt a little conservative in my race run but made it out of the weekend in one piece and I am pumped for the next GRT.