Monday, August 24, 2009

USDAA Nationals, here we come!

One of my goals this year was to qualify for USDAA Nationals with Tip. It has been an interesting journey to get here. Many lessons learned which is always a good thing right?

To get to Nationals you have to qualify with 2 Q's in the events you want to compete. The events are Team, Grand Prix, and Steeplechase. Tip earned her Team Q in January. In my view this feels like the hardest to get since you and your team mate have 5 runs a piece and you have to run all of them well. I didn't run the other tournments figuring I had the rest of the year to qualify for those. Lesson #1 learned--don't put things off if you can avoid it.

Tip was injured in March which took her out for about 12 weeks. During those 12 weeks there were several USDAA's that she could not compete in. It feels like there are not that many USDAA trials in our area and we missed many of them. I honestly wasn't sure if Tip would be able to run ever again, let alone make it to Nationals.

After Tip began to run again and it seemed clear that she would be able to do at least a couple runs a day (more on that later), I re-evaluated our goal and decided to stay on track for Nationals. That meant qualifying in the other two events in two trials! Very agreesive, but what did I have to loose?

Tip got one of her Steeple Chase Q's in July. First place with the most spectacular run we have ever done. It felt like one of those dreams where you just knew you weren't going to loose. I knew it was a winning time and run! She ran a marvelous Grand Prix run as well, but the judge called her on a contact (she GOT it many witnesses say). One more trial to get two Q's...

This past weekend, Tip got her second Q in Steeple Chase finishing her qualification for that event. The run was good, but she had to redo two weave polls which cost us in time. She got 4th, but still Q'ed. I can't even say her Grand Prix sucked because she didn't even take enough obsticles to call it a run. I don't dwell on the bad, so I am not going into much detail. Bad start...wrong course, just leave it at that! What I would do differently...get her focus or don't go on course, if she won't hold her start, don't start!

So, going into Regionals we are qualified so all we have to do is vi for position. If she Q's at Regionals she earns a 'buy' into Nationals' semi-finals. This would be a huge leg up.

In terms of Tip injury...she ran the whole weekend looking great. 4 runs per day.

Stay tuned....

Couldn't resist this photo of Split (yes, he is fast)