Haley Smith’s top performance through process
Haley Smith got on a plane 15 hours after winning bronze at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia. It was Friday morning when she took off, and Friday morning when she landed in California. On Saturday, she raced the U.S. Cup cross country event in Bonelli Park, San Dimas, Calif. She finished fifth. On Sunday, she was third at the short track event. Then she rested, sort of. She had a week of easy training before racing the Sea Otter Classic the next weekend.
“I don’t really feel like I need a break yet,” Smith said the day after Bonelli had wrapped up. “My coach trained us to do hard efforts frequently. The past four or five days weren’t as hard as some of the training blocks I’ve done.” “So, I’m OK,” she added with a laugh. She credited her results, especially her bronze i n Australia, to her outlook ahead of the races. “I wasn’t focused on a placing,” she said of the Gold Coast event. “I was only focused on the effort. One of my primary goals was to drive every climb. As the race went on, working toward that goal meant I started to reel people in.” Early in the xco event, Smith was eighth. As the race progressed, she worked her way to the podium.
Smith’s season will continue to have blocks of racing and training until September. It’s a process that will take her to World Cups, nationals and possibly the world championships once again.