Male All-Region Alpine Skier of the Year: Josh Smith of Mt. Blue

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Mt. Blue High School’s Josh Smith burns Black Mountain in Rumford on his way to a KVAC giant slalom title in February. Daryn Slover/Sun Diary

After spending the last four years on the slopes, Josh Smith, Mt. Blue’s senior ski instructor, said he feels bittersweet that his high school career is coming to an end.

Smith is honored to be named the 2021-22 Sun Journal All-Region Boys Alpine Skier of the Year, but he reluctantly understands that was his last hurrah on the slopes for the Cougars.

“Actually, I’m a little upset, but I can look back and enjoy my time skiing,” Smith said. “The race was just fun. I really liked the Alpine and just the physical requirement of the Nordic (race).

“I’ve been running since fourth grade. Doing something for so long and knowing it’s over – not necessarily the skiing, but the running part – is a little overwhelming. It wasn’t because of the performance or anything, it was just the end of something.

Smith finished in second place in the Class A slalom state championships, clocking 43.84 in a single run. He finished fourth in the giant slalom, crossing the finish line with a combined time of 1:46.97 after two runs. His finishes led the Cougars to a second-place finish on the team.

“At Mt. Blue, anyway, and I’m sure that’s probably the case at a lot of schools, we really focus on the team,” said Mt. Blue coach Mark Cyr. “It’s about making sure they get two strong runs, especially at state championships and KVACs. So maybe at other schools they’re all about winning when it comes to individuals, but Sadie (McDonough) and Josh are all about the team all the time. .. That they finish on the podium is huge.

Smith said slalom was a better discipline for him than GS.

“After I knew there was a race (in the United States), I kind of focused and went for it, and I think that’s why I did better,” he said. he declares.

The skimeister also shone in the Class A Nordic States Championships – on back-to-back days of contrasting weather conditions – producing two top-10 finishes and helping the Cougars win the team title.

The skiers faced a sloppy and melting course due to spring temperatures in the men’s Class A 5K classic race, where Smith finished sixth with a time of 19:03.9. The day after the Nordic States Championships was freezing, windy and cold, but Smith acclimatized quickly and went on to take seventh place in the 5km freestyle with a time of 12:52.4. He also placed seventh in the free pursuit.

“Managing your time and your gear…being in certain places at certain times is impressive, you know,” Cyr said of Smith’s skimeister pursuits. “He always tried to do Nordic training and alpine training every day. Hats off to him for doing this, especially at the state level, (where) there is no recognition for it.

Smith was also at the top of his game at the KVAC Alpine Championships. He won the giant competition with a combined time of 1:55.64 and placed second (1:21.76) in the slalom.

Cyr pointed out that Smith made the state team and went to New Hampshire and did well against other high schools from across the country.

“He finished in the top third of both events,” Cyr said. “Maine is sending 12 boys and 12 girls and both Josh and Sadie have been on the Maine State Ski Team. (Smith) is clearly one of the top 12 in the state.

“I was anticipating (having a good season),” Smith said. “It was a goal, and I achieved that goal, and it was good to do as well as I did. It surprised me, but at the same time, I was confident that I could do it.

Cyr describes Smith as a silent leader who leads by example.

“He’s not the kind of rah, rah kid in the beginning, that gets kids pumped up,” Cyr said. “He is commercial at first. He is focused on what he wants to do. The other kids look at it and say, “That’s what this is about.”

“I don’t talk a lot,” said Smith, a three-year athlete who also plays football and lacrosse, “but I try to do my best and hope people can watch this and follow along. “

Smith wants to stay close to home and plans to study economics at Bates College in the fall, and he also plans to play football for the Bobcats.


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