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2019 State Champion Spotlights

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Luke Bartol-State Champion Spotlight

We now highlight senior Luke Bartol of Maranacook.  Luke was the 2019 Class B freestyle state champion and his team won the state title.  We asked lukehim about the success and what he likes most about Nordic skiing.

1) What were your preparations leading up to the state meet?
Leading up to states, I was working on getting back in the groove of skiing after a rough start to the season, going for easy skis, eating carrots, stretching. The mental preparations were important too, trying to get back on the horse and believe I had what it took to win.
 
2) How did you deal with the pressure and emotions that come along with competing in a state meet?
 It was crazy having my last states in the same place as my first, kind of felt like a full circle, so there were a lot of emotions involved. I had been on the podium for the last two years, but never had been on top like all the guys I looked up to had, so I really felt like I had to get there. With the earlier races to going very well for me, I also felt very nervous about having the ability to do it, which took a bit to get over.
 
3) What was going through your mind at the starting gate in the pursuit knowing that you could win?
Starting that race, I realized it was my last chance to be a state champ, and I decided to not think or strategize like I had in other races, and instead just go as hard as I could for as long as I could. I skied the fastest I could, catching the other guys in the first k and a half.
 
4) You won the freestyle, what makes you so good and what do you contribute your success to?  
 I've never been a very coordinated skier, with my skating always being the worst of the two, so it was kind of surprising that it was the one I won. What contributed to my success was putting in the time over the summer, running, rollerskiing, and just working to get better. It's been a gift to be able to train with some of the best skiers in the state almost every day, and I think that has been a big factor in our success.
 
5) As a senior, what are your goals for next year?
 I'm planning on going to college next year, location TBD as I wait to hear back from a couple more schools. I hope to continue skiing in college to some degree, whether it be on a team, club, or just for fun, it's a big part of my life.
 
6) What surprised you the most about this season?
 This season had a lot of surprises, good and bad, its hard to choose one. I think the most important one was finding out that Mr D is willing to join in on our famous Country Roads singalongs on the bus home after meets
 
7) What moment/event will you remember the most from this season?
Skiing the last K of the race right next to my two teammates was truly a picturesque and unforgettable moment. It was the perfect way to end states and my senior year, and there's no people I would have rather done it with.
8) What do you like most about Nordic skiing?
Theres just something about cruising through the woods on nordic skis that just feels right, being out in nature, going by your own power. Nordic has always been there to challenge me, to help me cope, and to have fun with.
 
9) What was your reaction when you knew that the boys team won states?
We were pretty confident we had won when the three of us crossed the line in 1 2 3, and it was definitely a good feeling to continue to carry the torch. A lot of our team was the same that had brought home the first two, so it was great to do it again together. 

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