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DSC 1852 1We will now spotlight Nora McCourt of Mt. Blue. She was the 2024 Class A Classical and Freestyle state champion.  She also won the KVAC classical and freestyle and her team won the Class A state title.  We asked her about her success, what she likes most about Nordic, and more.

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

There was a lot of sickness going around our ski team before states so I spent a lot of time wearing a mask and trying to avoid illness. My training was pretty normal, which meant going out on the Titcomb trails every day and looking for the trails with the least amount of dirt patches! We were lucky to even be on snow, but the conditions were pretty challenging.

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

I tried really hard to turn my race nerves into positive energy, which fueled me while I skied. Going into it, I tried to stay positive mentally and focus on feeling fast and having fun with my teammates. Our team waxing parties and making goofy signs for everyone was a great way to stay relaxed and keep the nerves away.

3) What was going through your mind at the start line?

On the start line, I got really focused and I just kept telling myself that I was in fantastic shape and ready for an awesome race. I was also thinking about how fun it was to get to race the state meet on my home trails, where I have been skiing for most of my life!

4)  What do you contribute your success to?

There are so many things that helped me find success this year. My coaches Emmy and Shelley were always handing me phenomenal skis every race and were awesome sources of encouragement and guidance. My teammates had a really close bond this year as well and they made me excited to show up for practice every day, which really helped me stay motivated. I also think that physically I was in the best shape of my life so far, after coming off a really strong xc running season in the fall.

5)  What are your goals/plans for next year?

Next year I hope to continue improving my skiing like I did this year! I have technique goals that I am still working on and I would also like to be more intentional about my strength workouts this summer and fall. I would also like to improve my off-season training by adding more cross training, like mountain biking and hiking.

6) What surprised you the most about this season?

Going into the ski season this year I felt pretty optimistic about my fitness but I was definitely not expecting to feel so strong right from the start of the racing season. 

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

Most of my best memories from this ski season involve my team and all of the fun shenanigans that we get up to at practice. Playing speedball got really competitive this year and I have a lot of great memories from that. The Easterns trip was also a highlight of my season, which I will remember well.

8) What do you like most about Nordic Skiing?

There are so many things that I love about nordic skiing but the community is a huge aspect of it. I value my teammates and coaches so much for all of the positivity and goofiness they bring to practice every day. Beyond just my team, everyone I meet at ski races is super nice and I wouldn’t love the sport nearly as much as I do without all of the amazing people that are part of it.

9) Anything else that you would like to add?

I would love to thank my coaches for their constant support of my skiing and for their fantastic waxing at every race. I would also like to thank my friends/teammates and family for their unwavering support and for being amazing companions in this sport, and keeping it fun all the time! Finally, I appreciate all of the people in the ski community who volunteer their time and energy to help make our ski races possible.