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2018 State Champion Spotlight-Sophia Laukli

We now spotlight Sophia Laukli of Yarmouth who was the Class B Classical and Freestyle state champion.  She also won the WMCs, the Sassi Memorial, and was on the New England team at Junior Nationals where she received All-American status.  We asked her about being at Junior Nationals and her season successes.

1) What were your preparations leading up to the state meet ?
For my training, I focused on shorter and easier workouts with some intensity to make sure I was well rested for the races. I went up early with the team to make sure I was familiar with the courses as well.
2) How did you deal with the pressure and emotions that come along with competing in a state meet?
I tried not to let the pressure get to me and did so by treating it like any other race. I concentrated more on the goal of going my hardest and giving it everything I had rather than a certain place/result. I was more focused on the team doing well which is where I found most of the pressure. 
3) What was going through your mind at the start, especially at the freestyle pursuit being the first one out?
I was excited and nervous. The Fort Kent course is pretty technical so I knew it was going to be hard. For the pursuit, I was less nervous and just focused on keeping my place. I really enjoy pursuits so I was mostly excited. 
4) You have won a lot of races this season, what do you contribute your great  success to?
I have been training since the summer so I have had a lot of preparation that got me in shape. My coaches have also helped me throughout the season with training and racing. My team has also been great and supportive, we've had a lot of fun.
5) What are some of your best memories from the past season?
The best part of the season was Yarmouth girls winning states. All of us had worked really hard and it finally paid off. I think the whole team was motivated by the fact that it was Coach Morse's last year so it meant a lot more.
6) What are your plans/goals for next year?
I will be taking a gap year and skiing in Norway. After that I will continue to ski in college. I want to continue on improving and look forward to start racing on a bigger scale outside of the US. 
7) What are your favorite things about nordic? 
I love that it is both an individual and team sport. It is definitely a very challenging sport that requires many components but that's what stands out for me. 
8) What was your reaction when you found out that you won states?  And when your team won states?
I was very happy when I saw I had won and glad that everything had payed off. I think I was more excited for my team to win because we came into the state meet knowing there was a lot of competition so it was very rewarding when we won.
9) Is there anything else that you would like to add?
I just got back from competing at Junior Nationals in Utah and received All-American results in a few of the races. In addition, I was inducted into the Yarmouth High School Ski Hall of Fame.
10) What was it like being in Soldier Hollow for JNs and having awesome success there?
It was really cool skiing at JNs against the best in the country and with a lot of competition. It definitely contrasted to high school skiing so it was a great new experience. I was also really happy with my results there and maybe a little surprised because I had never skied on that scale before. 


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