Thursday, October 23, 2008
Too Close for Comfort
(Eloy, AZ) The most exciting thing happening at the US Nationals today is the race between Team Carolina Black Ice and Cross Keys 8 Plus. The 8-Way Open class is a forgone conclusion. Ally eyes are on the 8-way intermediate as Ice tries to hold onto the slimmest of leads. It's now high noon here in the desert and you can cut the tension with a knife. Despite Ice being in the lead, there is no comfort as Cross Keys is scratching and clawing towards the penultimate position. Clearly the momentum has swung to the Cross Keys side. The big question at hand is whether Black Ice can become more relaxed down the stretch and let it all hang out rather than getting tense and trying to fly tentatively in order to register more points. The exciting part of all of this is that Black Ice has worked hard all year to get to this point. Nobody wants to win with ease and a victory here would be especially sweet when considering the crucible that this event has now become.
On a personal note, it is interesting to see that both camps for Cross Keys and Black Ice are on the opposite ends of the DZ. There is no interaction between the teams, in fact Cross Keys is relatively out of sight as they have picked out the area near the student landing area to strategize, dirt dive and pack. The Black Ice camp is under the shade of an acacia tree nearby the swimming pool.
So, all that being said, we're in the final stretch now. Black Ice needs a big round to swing the momentum their way and make a statement towards the end. Heart rates are up, breathing is a little deeper and the temperatures are heating up. It's getting exciting here at the US Nationals. GO BLACK ICE!!!!!
Summary: Black Ice (thru 7 Rounds): 62 Total Points
Cross Keys: 60 Points
3 Rounds to go. Round 8 to begin very shortly!