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2018 State Champion Spotlight-Max Bartley

We now spotlight state champion Max Bartley of Presque Isle.  He won the Class B Classical and was also the Aroostook classical and freestyle champion.  We asked him about his preparations and his success.

1.What were your preparations leading up to the state meet ? There was obviously a lot of training involved. This included a lot of running over the summer as well as roller skiing. I run cross country during the fall, this gives me a good cardio base as well as build some speed. I am very fortunate to live in a place that has some of the best skiing in the state, with a world class facility in my backyard so a lot of time on snow helped. Going into the week of the state meet we tapered training down, allowing my body to recover. I was well rested going into the week and was confident in the training I had put in. 
2. How did you deal with the pressure and emotions that come along with competing in a state meet?  Last year, the state meet was quite disappointing and I attribute at least part of this to nerves and not preparing myself enough mentally. This year, I knew I had a successful season leading up until States and I knew I would have a good shot at the podium. I tried not to think about results too much and just skied my own race. With this being my last year of high school skiing, I wanted to enjoy the meet as much as possible and not let myself get caught up in the outcome. The pressure was always there, I just tried my best to not let it overwhelm me. 
3. What was going through your mind at the start, especially at the freestyle pursuit? I knew that Neveu and Bartol would be able to work together to try and catch me so I needed to ski like someone was chasing me. I wanted to capture the pursuit title as well but I knew I would have to ski even harder than I did the previous day. The first part of the race went as planned but I saw the title slip away from me after three stumbles on the downhills of a course I knew so well. Although I was a bit disappointed in how I preformed the second day, overall, I couldn’t ask for anything more. Both Neveu and Bartol raced smart races.
4. You have won a lot of races this season, what do you contribute your great  success to?  I attribute a large portion of my success to my coaches, not just my high school coaches but also the coaches who inspired me at a young age. The Maine Winter Sports Center was a great program that instilled a passion and love for this sport. Without the likes of Will Sweetser and Amber Freeman I would not be where I am today. In middle school I also had two fantastic coaches, Sarah Gahagan and Justin Fereshetian. These four coaches helped me understand how to train effectively and truly enjoy the sport of skiing, without their guidance I would not be the skier I am today. And finally, my high school coach, Von Perry played a crucial role in my success. Without his coaching and spot on waxing the past four years, I would not have been able to as successful as I am today.
5. What are some of your best memories from the past season? We had a small, close knit team this year and I couldn’t ask for better members. One of my best friends and I have skied together, on the same team for seven years now. Going to practice everyday and being around great people is one of the best things I could ask for. I’ll definitely miss these people and the memories next year.
6. What are your plans/goals for next year?  I plan to attend Bates College this fall. I plan to run on their cross country team as well as ski for their nordic team. Both teams seem like such great, close knit groups and I’m very excited to be a member of a larger team. I plan to take both seasons as they come and preform to the best of my abilities. I do not have any concrete goals set for next year, I just plan on enjoying collegiate level racing and see where it takes me. 
7. What are your favorite things about nordic?  By far, my favorite thing about nordic is the community. The people are what make this sport so rewarding. I also love that it tests my abilities and pushes me to the limits. I enjoy the struggle and hard work it takes to be successful at this sport. And finally, I love the individuality of it all. At the end of the day, there is one person who it to blame for your failures or successes and that is yourself. It is an unforgiving sport that rewards those who work hard.
8. What was your reaction when you found out that you won states?  Relief. There was a lot of tension going into the first race especially after last year. I felt like I was able to redeem myself and show what I could really do and that was one of the best feelings. I was really excited about the result but I knew there was still work to do the next day and I couldn’t let my success on the first day get in the way of the second day.

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