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2018 State Champion Spotlight-Annesley Black

We continue our state meet champion spotlight with double state champion Annesley Black of Cheverus.  She won the Class A Slalom and Giant Slalom state title as well as the SMAA giant slalom and slalom.  She also won the state titles in 2017.  We asked her about her thoughts at the starting gate and her goals for her upcoming senior year:

1) What were your preparations leading up to the state meet ? This year was difficult for preparation because states kept getting rescheduled, but I tried to keep training hard despite the scheduling setbacks. I trained a lot of gates in the week leading up to states to keep sharp. I also watched some of my favorite World Cup skiers to help psyche me up for the competition and to help visualize my race.

2) How did you deal with the pressure and emotions that come along with competing in a state meet? I definitely felt a lot more pressure this year having to defend my titles, but I tried to channel all of the nerves and excitement productively. I was really nervous this year, but whenever the nerves surfaced I tried to remind myself why I love this sport and how this is all for fun. Despite the pressure, I ski because I love it and I always try to keep that in perspective. On race day I used those emotions to psyche me up to race hard.
3) What was going through your mind at the starting gate knowing about the conditions and knowing that you could win? The conditions were definitely a lot softer this year, and that was a challenge because I always race better on ice. Despite the challenging and spring like conditions, I felt confidence in my abilities to ski fast. There are a lot of good girls out there competing hard and I never assume that I will win, but I trust my abilities. I knew I had to push my limits this year and I came into the race with that mindset.
4) You were double state champion this year and last year, what do you contribute your success to? I think my success really comes down to perseverance and the ability to look for speed. Despite the many set backs I endure as a racer, I always push through and work harder to overcome any issues. That is one of the keys to success in such a difficult sport. Another really important thing for success in skiing is the ability to look for speed wherever possible. The difference between a good racer and a great racer can be in that extra push out of the start or the slight adjustment of line to grab just a little more speed coming onto the flats. Little adjustments can make all the difference in racing.
5) You are now a junior, what are some of your best memories from the past 3 years? I really enjoy the low pressure environment of Maine high school racing, and I've met some great friends through the sport.
6) What are your plans for next year? I'm going to keep working hard and I'm going to show up next year ready to race hard and have fun for my senior year.
7) Is there anything else that you would like to add? I would like to say thank you to all the coaches, race officials, and parents who make high school racing possible. It is a great experience and I will always hold the memories close to my heart.

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