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Emma Charles-State Champion Spotlight

We now highlight freshman Emma Charles of Mt. Blue.  She won the 2019 Class A Classical and Freestyle and was consistently the fastest female racer emma 1in the state.  We asked her about her success and her preparations.

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

I made sure I got enough sleep, food, and water the week leading up to the races. I also did my best to stay healthy all season so I wouldn’t lose too much practice time. The day of the races, I made sure to eat plenty of oatmeal breakfast, even though I have to choke it down since I always eat it before every race. I did my usual warm up with my team and then a couple minutes before the race, I was sure to have my lucky dinosaur gummies!

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

I always listen to music on the bus before races so I can be in my own little bubble. I’m usually not too nervous before races until around 45 minutes before my start but once I’m out of the gate, I get into race mode and just do my thing. During the race, I try not to focus on what my competitors are doing and  just race my own race.

3) What was going through your mind at the starting gate in the pursuit knowing that you could win?

 

That race was probably the most nervous I’d been that season because it was a very difficult classic course and I knew that it would hurt to push myself because I had never done back to back races, but I tried to think about how accomplished I would feel at the end. I was more nervous than I would be for a classic race because classic is definitely my strength compared to skate.

4) You won the classical, freestyle and the pursuit, what makes you so good and what do you contribute your success to?  

There are probably three big things that have helped me have so much success. The first one is my background as a gymnast because it really helped me have a solid base in strength for when I first started skiing in fourth grade. It also helped me have really good work ethic and goal setting abilities which helps me improve. The second thing is having very supportive coaches and family. If it weren’t for them, I probably wouldn’t have the same amount of passion for this sport. Lastly, my older sister, Meg, was the one who introduced me to Nordic skiing and I think she helped me work hard when I was new to skiing because I was super competitive with her and I would try to keep up with her during practices in middle school and it made me learn that if I wanted to get something, in this case keeping up with her, I would have to work extremely hard to get there.

5) As a freshman, what are your goals for next year?

I want to do more Eastern Cup races and maybe qualify Junior Nationals by senior year. I also want to do a lot of summer training to keep my technique solid. And most importantly, I want to always enjoy skiing no matter how far I decide to take my racing.

6) What surprised you the most about this season?

I was surprised to be having this much success as a freshman. When I won the first race of the season, I thought it was just a one time thing because Mt. Blue was lucky enough to be on snow since the first day of practice. Around midway though the season I was thinking that maybe I really was able to keep this up for Sassi’s and states.

7) What moment/event will you remember the most from this season?

I think my favorite part of this season was when I finished my first Eastern Cup race. Thanks to OSI, my wax was amazing so I was having so much fun throughout the whole race. Pretty much as soon as I crossed the finish line,  I ran over to my parents, smiling, before I even knew what the results were.

8) Is there anything else that you would like to add?

I want to thank Coach Claire and Coach Jeremy for helping me improve so much over the past year technique-wise and strength-wise. I’d also like to thank Meg for teaching me to love Nordic skiing.

9) What do you like most about Nordic skiing?

I love the feeling of freeness when I am going down the hills at Titcomb and the feeling of invincible strength when I am hammering up and over the last hill before the finish line. I also love how supportive everyone is of each other, even when you are from different teams.

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