Maya MacIsaac-Jones was absolutely brilliant Wednesday at the nationals, in Thunder Bay, where she won the Jr Women long sprint (1,5 km).
She played her cards intelligently, first setting a reference time of 3 min 30 s 32/100 with a commanding 6 sec lead over local favorite and up and coming Jennifer Jackson. She knew she had set the bar high.
«My sprint day started out very well with a great qualifier, which made me both excited and very nervous for the heats», said Maya afterwards.
Then she won both her quarter final (3:49.37) and semi final (3:38.71) in a slower pace before the big showdown for the gold medal.
«I knew going into the final that it would be a big battle, so I just went for it and pushed as hard as I could and managed to lead right to the end!»
We were given two great pictures by Martin Kaiser that show both skiers at the finish line. See on both of them how much those athletes are giving it everything they’ve got. So totally dedicated to their sport.
But that’s not all ! This was about it for those girls competing with each other, as most of them, like Maya, will be moving on to the seniors next season and will face a different breed of racers. Emotion took over at the finish and they were clearly all winners then.
«One of the best things about today’s race was having a group hug with all of the other girls after the finish, said Maya. I think there we have a very strong up-and-coming group of girls right now in Canada, and it has been so much fun racing and pushing each other throughout the season.
«Although it was a bit sad for us to be done sprinting as juniors, I am very excited to see what we can do next year challenging the seniors!»
Well, so she should. Maya’s time in today’s final (3:25.34) would have given her… the bronze medal with the seniors.