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State Champion Spotlight-Joey Rouhana

We next spotlight state champion Joey Rouhana of Falmouth.   He won the 2022 MPA Class A Classical, Freestyle, and the Pursuit at Black Mtn.  We asked himJoey 1 about his successes and what his thoughts were at the start line with the wild weather.  

1) What were your preparations leading up to the state meet?   To answer the question more generally, I have been ski training 6 days a week for the past year in preparation for this season. The weekend before the state meet, I had two big eastern cup races in New Hampshire, so in the two days I had to prepare for the state meet I was really just focused on recovering; a lot of stretching, staying hydrated, and resting. 
2) How did you deal with the pressure and emotions that come along with competing in a state meet?  At this point I have had a lot of experience with pre-race nerves and how I deal with them. There can be a lot of pressure or nerves before a race like this, but I just try not to think about it too much until I am on the start line. Then I can use the nerves to get me psyched up for the race. 
3) What was going through your mind at the start knowing that the snow conditions were challenging?   At the start line I was telling myself that the conditions wouldn't matter, everyone is skiing the same course. I was confident with my wax choice and knew I had done the work to prepare for the race. You can't have any doubt or uncertainty on the start line, you have to be confident that you are prepared to go hard and leave everything on the course.
4) What are some of your best memories from ski racing this past season?   One of my favorite memories from the season was winter camp at Fort Kent with my team, it was a lot of fun and great training. Another memory from this season I will never forget was winning the junior sprint heats at the Dublin eastern cup. 
5) If you are a senior, what are your plans for next year?   I have committed to Clarkson University. I plan on studying engineering and business, and skiing on the nordic team.  
6)What were your goals for this season and did you achieve them?  What led to all of your success?    The biggest goal I had for myself this season was to qualify for Junior Nationals. Unfortunately I missed it by a few spots, but I am still happy with the effort I put into achieving the goal, even though I didn't quite make it. A few of my other goals were winning states, and becoming a better classic skier, of which I accomplished both. For the past 2 years, I have been more committed and put more effort into ski training than anything I have ever done in my life. I think it is the hours I put in on roller skis this summer that led to my success this winter. Of course, having the support of coaches, teammates, and family is also a key part of my success. 
7) Anything else that you would like to add?   I have also had some really big obstacles to overcome this season. In the fall, I came down with mono and I was forced to take almost a month off of training, arguably the most important month.  People warned me that it may take several months to recover, and if I jumped back into training too soon, it would only get worse. I was afraid that all of the training I had put in would be lost, and my season was also possibly lost. Fortunately I stayed positive and was really smart about training and was able to beat the mono. Then in early January I caught covid, another roadblock in my training. I think that I could have achieved more this season had I not had both of these setbacks, but it taught me a lot about training and recovery.

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