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State Champion Spotlight: Zach Holman

We now turn to the Nordic state champions.  Zach Holman of Maranacook, was the 2017 Class B Classical state champion.  His team also won the state championships.  We asked him about his individual and team wins, his season progression, and his best memories.

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

I had been training hard since the start of the summer and all throughout the season, so in the weeks leading up to the state meet I prioritized being rested and healthy. I wanted to feel snappy and rested when I got to the line.

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

I’ve definitely gotten better at dealing with the pressure of racing, but even still I was pretty stressed and nervous in the days leading up to the meet, especially since I knew the entire team would be counting on me. The morning and night before the meet I just made sure I stuck to the routine that I always have before my races, and that

definitely helped with any anxiety. I knew that I could win and I maintained my confidence in that as much as possible leading up to the meet all the way to the line.

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

I went to the start line knowing that I could win, I knew that there were fast people going out behind me and that I would have a target on my back so I went out hard and fast in order to break anyone that was around me. With it being soft if you don't turn it over fast it’s really easy to get bogged down, so I made sure to keep my tempo up all the way through the race.

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

Well I would mainly attribute my fast race to all the hard work I put in over the past year. I also really pushed myself to my absolute max during the race, it was a two lap course so I decided to take the first lap like it was my last, and then try and recover as much as I could on the long downhill at the start of the second lap. This definitely worked, and I had a solid thirty second lead on the second place person by the time I was on my second lap. However I wouldn't have won without the help, support, and coaching from Steve and Tyler Deangelis. The wax team also gave me some really fast skis, so they deserve some credit too.

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

I was pretty euphoric, our team has a long history of winning states and I really wanted to continue on that tradition. It felt great knowing that all the hard work that we’d been putting in had finally paid off. The second I knew we had won I ran over to my coach and hugged him for a solid thirty seconds.

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

Definitely crossing the finish line of the classic race and realizing that I had won, it was the most incredible feeling, and something I will never forget. Getting handed the team state champ trophy was also pretty amazing.  

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

I love everything about skiing, whether it’s long skis, waxing, interval workouts, racing, or just messing around on skis I love every second of it. It’s definitely a lot easier to be good at something when you love it. My favorite part about ski racing particularly is when somewhere around the three kilometer mark you have to make a decision, you are in so much pain, your muscles and lungs are screaming at you to ease up, and the finish line still feels impossibly far. This is where you make the decision to either give up and back it off, or keep going, push through the pain and maintain the same pace. That's my favorite part about ski racing.

8) What are your plans for next year?

Next year I will be heading off to college where I will hopefully continue ski racing.  

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

At the beginning of the season my goals were to lead the team to a state championship, and to be top three overall individually. But after Sassi I realized that I was in a position where I could win individually, so I set that as as my goal for states. So yes, I achieved all the goals that I had set for the season.

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