State Champion Spotlight-Eleanor Donahue

We now spotlight state champoin Eleanor Donahue of Yarmouth.  Eleanor won the Class B Giant Slalom at Black Mtn.  We asked her about herEleanor preparations and her favorite moment of the season.


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

I train at Sugarloaf with CVA every weekend; I had been training at Sugarloaf earlier that week. I followed my race day routines and tried to get to bed at a reasonable time, eat a good breakfast and stay hydrated.

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

I try to follow my routines and listen to myself throughout the day. I always take one long, detailed slip with my coach and then another quick slip to keep my plan fresh in my head. Once I am at the start, I talk with the girls, warm-up and try to forget about the race. 

3) What was going through your mind at the starting gate?


I was focused on skiing each run as I had planned with my coach and like I had been training throughout the season. I wasn’t thinking about placement at all. 

4)How did you deal with the new powder on race day?

Everyone slipped the course well and I knew that the line I would be skiing wouldn’t be close to the powder so it ended up not worrying me too much. 

5)  What do you contribute your success to?

I worked hard this season. I wasn’t distracted by placing because I was focused on my skiing and figured placing would come with that. I trained with both CVA and Yarmouth a lot this winter. I am really fortunate to have a great high school coach who takes extra time to explain and demonstrate things that I might not understand right away. My dad is also a huge, huge part of my success. Since I was little, he has driven me to training events and races every weekend. He knows better than anyone what I need on race day. He is the one who keeps me calm and focused on race day and throughout the entire season. 

6)  What are your goals for next year?

My goal for next season is to keep improving. I want to keep focusing on my skiing and continue to get faster.

7) What surprised you the most about this season?

My finishes in both slalom and GS at states surprised me the most. I came into this season with expectations for myself, but I tried not to focus on them too much. It was nice to finally acknowledge them at the end. I was confident in both of my GS runs and my finish was a nice way to start off states. I struggled with my slalom skiing this season, but finishing second made me feel like the work that I had been putting into it throughout the winter had begun to pay off.  

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

At shootouts this season I was really sick. I had gotten sick at the end of states and it just kept getting worse. I only had two days between states and shootouts and I trained a little bit with CVA, but I really slept most of the time. I went to shootouts and felt terrible, but I worked through it and performed decently.