Maranacook Nordic skier Ethan Harriman entered the Class B state championship meet on Feb. 20 wondering what kind of performance he could put together for the Black Bears.

“Going into states, he was asked, ‘What’s a reasonable goal for you, can you go top 10?’ ” Maranacook Nordic coach Steve DeAngelis said. “He said ‘Yeah, top 10 is a very reasonable goal.’ That’s where he set his sights.”

But perhaps even Harriman, a sophomore, was taken aback by his performance over two days at Black Mountain. He finished third in the classical race and seventh in the freestyle, the best performance by any male Nordic skier on the team.

“I guarantee you, even he was surprised,” DeAngelis said.

For his performance at the state meet and throughout the season, Harriman is the Kennebec Journal Boys Nordic Skier of the Year. Teammate Erling Vingelsgaard and Monmouth Academy skier Dylan Thombs were also considered.

Harriman had a successful start to the regular season, including a 12th-place finish at the Maranacook Wave race and a seventh-place finish in the boys J2 classical race at the Sassi Memorial Classic.

“Each of the races, I just focused on that day and I was just pretty happy with my results each time,” Harriman said. “Just happy to be up top competing with the really fast guys and it was a privilige.”

Harriman’s strength is his technigue, according to DeAngelis.

“He’s a deceptively fast skier,” DeAngelis said. “He skies just really beautifully, smoothly, efficiently. He looks like he’s not going all that fast.”

Preparing for the state meet, Harriman just focused on finishing in the top 10.

“Going into that, I was rooting for (a top 10 finish), and I thought it was a pretty good goal,” Harriman said. “When I finished the race and saw the results, I was pretty thrilled with it, because I was not expecting to be there. Especially as a sophomore. I was just really proud of myself and impressed that I was able to do that.”

Harriman’s skiing career is far from over for the Black Bears. DeAngelis said with the right amount of work, Harriman can be one of the best Nordic skiers in the state.

“It’s all a matter of desire,” DeAngelis said. “If he wants it, he can be one of the best skiers in the state, no question about it. It’ll be interesting to see.”

Harriman said he understands that, even though he had a successful season, there’s more work in front of him.

“I can’t just keep gliding (on previous success) I have to keep working for it,” Harriman said. “And there’s always going to be people that come up and will challenge me. My goal is just to be competitive with them still and keep myself in the running.”

Dave Dyer — 621-5639

[email protected]

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