Rain Rain Go Away

Sept. 24, 2009, 5 a.m. (ET)

As you all know the races yesterday were rained out except for the junior ladies point’s race. Day one on the road was filled with cab and bus rides back and forth from the hotel to the track dodging the rain. Unfortunately the junior girls had to race in the rain and wet road. The course is tricky at best as one corner is very narrow and the other corner has a retention pond just feet away. This may have made some skaters timid as they tried to stay up. Sophie Webb and Megan Gillis were the skaters for the USA and they were skating pretty well even though the conditions were not optimum. Toward the middle of the race the girls came around the narrow corner and then tragedy stuck. Megan slipped on the wet pavement and then got a close up view of not only the pavement but of Sophie’s skate hitting her in the nose as she was trying to jump over her. Both girls were out of the race at that point. This was the last race that could be completed and the events were rescheduled for this morning.

At 8:30 this morning the races resumed with the junior men point’s race. Mario Valencia and Justin Mannon performed well even though the track was still wet. Justin stayed in until the end of the race and picked up several points. He would eventually find himself in 4th place overall when it was all said and done. The skaters seemed to have quite a time on the course due to the wet conditions but after a while it seemed to dry up fairly nicely.

Placements eluded the senior ladies in the 20,000 meter elimination but Briana Kramer had her first “scuffle” that ended up with 5 skaters on the ground. Argentina was battling her throughout the race and seemed to have gotten under her skin a little. Briana threw out her arm against Argentina causing the crash with a couple of those skaters, one from Korea, up against the wall. Korea would get back up but could not catch the pack. This is senior racing and Briana is learning how to dish out what you are expected to take. She was eliminated several laps later with a placement of 16th.

Joey Mantia picked up another gold medal today in the senior men’s elimination. This race also had many falls and Michael Cheek seemed to instinctively know how to avoid them. The duo skated very well together and Michael gave a great performance. This is now Joey’s 24th senior world medal. There seems to be no question that he will meet or surpass the 25 mark by the end of the championship.   

 Due to the rain delays the finals for the 200 meter time trial were held after all the divisions skated their heats. The USA saw three of their skaters move on to the final. Erin Jackson, Joey Mantia and Will Bowen would be representing in what was no doubt going to be an interesting race. As luck would have it, the rain began again. This time it would not be enough to stop the racing, but it was enough to create different conditions on the road. Erin would come in 6th place overall and after she ran it seemed as if the rain stopped. Right before a one hour break Joey and Will had their shot at the 200 meter time trial. Praying that the rain would hold off a little longer we watched with anticipation as Joey would take the bronze. 

Shortly after a one hour break the races resumed only to be drowned out again by rain. Even still the junior 500 meter heats had been completed before the rain began. Michael Ringer and Eben Jackson both made it out of their heat and moved on to the semi. Erin Jackson and Alex Harris also made it through to the next round. Once these races were completed the rain began and we were all told that they would resume the next morning.