State Champion Spotlight-Abigail Landry

We begin our spotlights on the state champions of each discipline.  Our first spotlight is Telstar senior Abigail Landry who won the Class B  Slalom at 416 LANDRY ABBEYBlack Mtn.  We asked her about her  preparations and the conditions on race day.

1) What were your preparations leading up to the state meet?
My preparations were mostly training at Mt. Abram and rest. It's definitely important to get in gates in the days leading up to the meet but when it comes down to it, the muscle memory you've been working to perfect over the season kicks in. So I prioritize adequate rest over last-minute training. 
2) How did you deal with the pressure and emotions that come along with competing in a state meet?
This whole season has been a lot of tuning into the mental side of skiing for me, it's been an emotionally trying season on a number of levels. Most of it is just reminding myself why I'm there and that if I ski the way I know I can, I'll accomplish what I set out to. As long as I put in the work from the time I kick out of the start gate to when I'm over the finish line I'll be proud of myself and how I did. 
3) What was going through your mind at the starting gate?
There's not much in terms of thought going on in my head at the start. It's mostly just a replay of the course in my head. I try to avoid over-thinking about a rhythm change, a particular section that I'm 'nervous' about, or the course in general because that tends to trip me up. I just close my eyes, focus on my breathing, use my hands to feel out the rhythm, and just think 'I got this'. 
4) How did you deal with the new powder on race day?
Apparently not very well. I walked out of ski my first run of GS after hitting a pile of powder in the race line just right. But when powder race days do happen it's just kind of a matter of doing a sufficient slip and hoping the crew keeps the course clean, which they do a good job of. If there is an iffy section I just don't hammer the edge in and I sometimes come out unscathed! 
5)  What do you contribute your success to?
I contribute my success to myself and the dedication I put in the being at training every weekend and putting my best effort in. I give a lot of credit to my amazing coaches. Both my high school coach and my weekend coach at Mt. Abram/the Mt. Abram crew have done a lot for me over my high school career. They've really allowed me to hone my skills and grow into the athlete and person I am today, I truly wouldn't have gotten as far as I am without them. My team always pushes me and lets me push them as well, it's a great give-and-take that keeps me motivated. My parents have supported me skiing since I was 4 years old and my dad had me out skiing and I was taking lessons at Mt. Abram. They continue to be proud of me and support me almost 14 years later. I got a good foundation training with Gould through elementary/middle school, no matter how difficult to deal with I was at that age! Some of those coaches still watch for my name on the results which always makes me happy to hear. My boyfriend also kept me going through the harder parts of my season. He doesn't ski so just having unconditional support from an outside perspective made the rough races easier. In summary: I have a lot to be thankful for! 
6)  What are your goals for next year?
I'm just looking to improve and race against bigger competition. I'll be at Farmington and I'm very excited to take my skiing career up there. I'm also planning to minor in coaching and hope to be a ski coach someday, so I'll be absorbing as much skiing knowledge as I can during training. 
7) What surprised you the most about this season?
Hands down how much I've improved. It amazes me watching my times get faster and I love to test my boundaries and see just how far/fast I can go. Sometimes that ends up with me losing a shoe at a state meet, and sometimes it ends up in success. 
8) What moment/event will you remember the most from the season?
Definitely kicking out of the start gate at Lost Valley with completely unbuckled boots, that's truly one for the books. I only lasted a few gates before nearly going head over the tips of my skis. Always take your time at the start! 
I also just wanted to add to any skiers reading this that are younger than me, or maybe even older than me who need to hear it don't get so caught up on the bad races. Always look to improve, but make it fun. There's no good in dwelling on the bad days. Don't think that the bar stops at just racing either, there's so much more to your life as a skier than just gates. So get out there and ski as much as possible.