Max Kay mulled over the decision, but he hasn’t regretted it.“I think it worked out very well,” Kay said. “I’m glad I chose to do that.”
As a freshman at Mt. Blue, Kay was a skimeister, competing in both Nordic and Alpine events. During dry land training, he stopped going to Nordic practice.
“It was a hard decision for me, but I’ve trained Alpine longer,” Kay said. “Last year, I felt like my time was really divided between the two, and the training between each wasn’t helping the other.”
Kay’s decision paid off as he made first-team all-Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A. He’s also the choice as the Morning Sentinel Boys Alpine Skier of the Year.
Ironically, Kay’s decision to limit his skiing focus runs counter to his diversity in other areas. He’ll play piano next Saturday at the inaugural Maine Acoustic Festival.
“I like going fast,” Kay said. “I like being aggressive on the hill, and really focusing on the skiing and trying to get better every time. I’d say that the skiing is an outlet for the aggressiveness, and the piano is more of an outlet for the creative (side).”
Kay also plays soccer at Mt. Blue, and Alpine coach Mark Cyr thinks that helps as well.
“Last year and this year, he came in to the season in pretty good shape,” Cyr said. “Physically, he’s always ready to go.”
Cyr believes the Nordic and Alpine disciplines complement each other, so he was surprised when Kay decided to focus on Alpine skiing. But it’s probably not a coincidence that Cyr was very pleased with Kay’s work ethic this winter.
“This year, when he came to practice, he came to work,” Cyr said.
At the KVAC championships, Kay was seventh in the slalom and sixth in the giant slalom. He followed that up the Class A state championships by finishing 28th in the slalom and 12th in the GS. Still, Cyr and Kay agree he is better in the slalom.
“We spent very little time on big mountains this year,” Cyr said. “I think that if there’s one thing he needs to work on, it’s the GS.”
Kay did improve in the GS as the season went on, and he’d like to make an across-the-board improvement next season.
“I’d like to make the Eastern team, and I’d like to place well,” Kay said. “I’d like to place top five in most of my races.”