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State Champion Spotlight: Laura Parent

We now spotlight Laura Parent of Maranacook who was the 2017 Class B Classical State Champion.   She helped her team win the Class B State title.  We asked her about the successes, the preparations, and her goals.

1) What were your preparations leading up to the state meet

I had a pretty solid base going into the season, built up by a successful cross country season and training that began in the spring with roller skiing and strength training. Leading up to the state meet, I prepared a lot mentally, maintaining a positive attitude and pumping myself up to go fast.

2) How did you deal with the pressure and emotions that come along with competing in a state meet?

A method of coping with pressure and getting into the right mental state before an important meet that I use is reminding myself that all I need to do is my best, and that is all I can ever do, and I try to maintain a constant positive mindset and build my own confidence. But at states I was less nervous and more excited about racing and being with my team.

3) What was going through your mind at the starting line knowing that the conditions were soft and warm?

I knew that it was not going to be an easy race, and that I would have to adjust my technique and mentality a little, but I also thrive under adverse conditions, and I was totally prepared to push my limits and endure a slog.

4) You won the classical race.   What do you attribute your fast race to?  

I think I can attribute this victory to all of the hours of training I put in this season, especially on classic technique. If you could look at my double pole form from the beginning of the season to now, you would know what I’m talking about! Another thing I worked at was achieving a faster tempo universally in my skiing, and I think I was able to do that pretty well by the state race. I went into this race knowing that I had the ability to have a really great race, and that all I had to do was have the guts to carry it out.

5) Your team won the state championships.  What was your reaction to the team win?

Anybody who has ever been on the Maranacook Nordic Team knows that despite our relaxed environment and easy going nature, we are driven athletes with goals in mind, and the main goal, is to ultimately win the state meet. In the last two years I have been on the team, we’ve come in as a runner up, a close one, but still, second.This year we knew that we were the team to beat, we had trained our tails off, and that we wanted it bad, so it was a pretty incredible feeling seeing our hard work pay off like this.

6) What are some of your best memories from ski racing this past season?

Most of my best ski memories from this year are from adventuring in the snow or singing songs on bus rides, or cutthroat team snowball fights. But some racing memories from this year that stand out to me would be my finish at the Sassi meet, because the announcer had said something along the lines of, “Wow that was a fast time. Laura Parent is going to move into first!” and even though I was bumped by two other super speedy girls and had the third best time of the day, that moment still felt pretty good after a tough race. Another great moment was finishing the KVAC race, because I had never really won a race before. But I think the best memory of the season was the afternoon after the two state races, we had just won the state championship, and my whole team went on a celebratory ski. We were all so happy and it was just a great time.

7) What is your favorite part about skiing and ski racing?

My favorite part of skiing is being out in the snow with my favorite people (the team). I also really enjoy the racing aspect. I love leaving it all out there and seeing myself improve. There’s just something about going out in the freezing cold and climbing up and flying down hills with people who also love to do it, until your limbs are burning and you can’t feel your face, just to see who can do it fastest. It’s so exciting.

8) What are your goals for next year?

To get faster on downhills and to keep improving overall.

9) What were your goals for this season and did you achieve them?

My goal was to improve my technique and become faster, and for my team to win states, both of which were accomplished, which is very exciting. One of my stealth goals that I didn’t widely share because I wasn’t sure whether I could do it or not, was that I hoped to win a race; it didn’t matter which one. So winning a state race was a pretty amazing experience for me. I did achieve my goals this year and I’d count this as a very successful season, I can’t wait for the next one.

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