Mt. Abram coach Buzz Bean likes to talk about how skiing championships are won during the summer. He means training, of course, and as Thomas Faraday showed, that training can take many different forms.
Faraday, a junior on the Mt. Abram Nordic ski team, spent last summer doing his normal routine — which means a lot of time outdoors, and a lot of activity. He was so busy with other outdoor sports that he found it hard to follow Bean’s suggested training schedule.
“Tom thought he wasn’t doing enough training,” Bean said. “It’s like, ‘Tom, you don’t have to do all that stuff because you went mountain biking for two hours today, and you went kayaking for a week.’ It took him a while to realize that was training.”
Faraday went on to win the Mountain Valley Conference freestyle and classical titles, and finished second at the Class B state championship in both the classical and freestyle races. That makes him the choice as the Morning Sentinel Nordic Skier of the Year.
After a growth spurt — Bean says it was six inches, while Faraday says it was about three or four — Faraday now stands close to six feet. With his activity level, he was skinny anyway, but now he had to adjust to his new height.
“It’s definitely something that helps,” Faraday said. “But it took some getting used to, just the technique and the style.”
Faraday has adjusted well enough that Bean breaks out analogies and superlatives when talking about his skiing form.
“He’s very graceful,” Bean said. “It’s like watching a deer when a deer runs — no wasted energy. He makes it look effortless. It’s like hitting a baseball right in the sweet spot, and when you watch him ski, it’s like, ‘Yup. That’s it. Right there.’ ”
Even in the winter, Faraday couldn’t quite shake his routine. A couple days before states, the upper chairlifts at Sugarloaf were closed because of heavy winds. Faraday told his coach the next day how he and a friend hiked all the way up and snowboarded down. As Bean tried to pretend he didn’t hear that, Faraday added, “Yeah, we did that twice.”
Faraday admits he was surprised with his performance in the MVC race, and said he went in relaxed at states. He finished second to Yarmouth’s Braden Becker in both the classical (by 14.6 seconds) and freestyle (by 4.0 seconds). Bean thinks Faraday could have been a state champion had he not been caught in a bottleneck in the freestyle, but he also thinks Faraday will have another chance.
“For him to ski as fast as he did — watch out next year, that’s all I’m going to say,” Bean said.
Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243