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State Champion Spotlight-Dana Schwartz

 We continue the state champion spotlights and now highlight Dana Schwartz of Cape Elilzabeth.  Dana won the Class B Slalom at Saddleback Mtn.  It was a wildIMG 3955 weather day so we asked her about the conditions and her plans for next year.

 

1) What were your preparations leading up to the state meet?
 
I have been ski racing since I was nine years old and always wanted my last year of racing in Maine to be successful. I started training and preparations for the state meet coming off my summer softball season in August with dryland training. I would rollerblade six miles every Sunday and mixed in different courses and agility drills with cones a couple of days a week. I also love weightlifting as a way to get ready for the season and I put in numerous hours at the gym lifting and working on speed and agility. I started training on-snow shortly after Thanksgiving and have spent as many days as possible improving and getting ready for states. In the days leading up, I wasn't able to train gates but I spent time in the gym to make sure I was in shape for the grueling conditions. 
 
2) How did you deal with the pressure and emotions that come along with competing in a state meet?
 I try to keep a positive attitude and not think about all the pressure. I keep reminding myself that skiing in a state meet is a great experience that I am lucky to have. I also like to dance and stay loose. The pressure of competing is also one of my motivators and it pushes me to ski harder and out of my boundaries. 
3) What was going through your mind at the start knowing that the snow conditions were challenging?
 I kept telling myself that I have skied in worse conditions and it was only a little windy and icy even if I knew otherwise. I also had to remind myself that everyone is dealing with the same conditions and I had the strength to hold my ground. Ski racing is a tough sport and racing in challenging conditions is a part of it. 
4) What are some of your best memories from ski racing this past season?
 I love that all the teams and athletes within the Western Maine Conference have such good camaraderie and it makes the races much more enjoyable. I just love being out on the hill and cheering for everyone and dancing! The race department at Shawnee Peak makes the races so fun and I am definitely going to miss all the memories of being at the top of the course with everyone! 
5) If you are a senior, what are your plans for next year?
 I will be attending Hamilton College in Clinton, New York with plans to major in biology on the pre-med track and minor in international relations or french. I also will be skiing on their club ski team. 
6) What were your goals for this season and did you achieve them?  What led to all of your success?
 
I had a pretty large list of goals for this season and I am happy to say I achieved the large majority of them. I wanted to help teach and provide an opportunity for my fellow students to learn the sport of ski racing and we had one of the biggest teams on record this year! I wanted to help our team win at least a championship and was so excited for us to win the conference for the second year in a row. I think that every racer always has a goal of winning a state championship and winning the slalom definitely checked that box off for me! I also had the goal of making the Maine State team for the third year which was also achieved. While numerous factors contributed to my success, I think the amount of effort and time that I put into my training both on and off-snow contributed the most to my success! 
 
 
7) Anything else that you would like to add?
I have been involved with the Maine ski racing community for a long time and raced for my school for the last eight years. I want to thank all my coaches, teammates, family, race departments, and organizers for all their efforts! It has truly been one of the best experiences and I am going to miss the ski racing community in Maine so much!

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