The talent was there for Nathan Delmar last year. The results just didn’t show it.

One dazzling run would be followed by a stumbling second one. That would mean mediocre finishes, well short of what Delmar knew he could achieve. It was frustrating, but the Maranacook senior knew how to change the story going into this season.

As much as those finishes bothered him, all he had to do was ski like they didn’t.

“I think in the past I’ve been too uptight, always been really serious, always wanted to do well,” he said. “I think mentally this year I just tried to relax, tried to have more fun.”

By season’s end, he was having plenty. Delmar capped off a fine season with an excellent showing in the Class B state championships, finishing first in the slalom and second in the giant slalom. For his performance, he’s the Kennebec Journal boys Alpine Skier of the Year.

“Last year I didn’t ski very well at any time during the season,” he said. “But this year I stayed really consistent, I finished almost every race I had, and I skied really well at the end of the season, which was awesome.”


“I refer to skiers of his quality as a thoroughbred,” coach Ronn Gifford added. “He’s got incredible talent, he’s super quick.”

Last year’s state championships summed up the hot-and-cold season for Delmar. He was first after the first slalom run and second after the start of the GS, but was disqualified in his second slalom run and was 40th in his second GS try, leaving him with a 34th-place showing.

“There were peaks and valleys,” he said. “I skied some races really, really well, then the same week I wouldn’t ski well, I’d straddle, I wouldn’t finish. Just really inconsistent.”

Consistency became Delmar’s adopted theme for this season, and he focused on ways to correct the flaws in his array of abilities. Rather than take run after run trying to go as fast as he could, Delmar took more free runs in which all he would do were drills. One involved him holding both poles vertically in front of him while skiing down, forcing him to keep his shoulders pointed down the slope while turning. In another, he put one hand in front of his waist and another behind his back, allowing him to practice keeping his chest forward throughout the run.

“I’ve always done those drills on the weekend, but taking the time at practice and doing those drills before I trained really cemented my form,” he said. “I saw improvements everywhere.”

Coach Ronn Gifford saw another change. While before Delmar sometimes veered into recklessness during runs, Gifford saw his senior consistently stay within himself during his runs.


“In the past years, in particular I’d say last year, he was pretty much full throttle all the time,” Gifford said. “I think it took him till this season to really mature and learn how to be able to control that throttle a little more, know when to throw it all the way down and when not to push it so much.”

Delmar showed a glimpse of what was to come at the KVAC championship, following a sixth-place first slalom run with a second-place finish the second time, equaling a third-place result. In the states, Delmar took second in both giant slalom runs to Nick Newman of Mountain Valley, sealing the sparkling overall finish that had eluded him the previous year. He surpassed his performance the following day, thwarting Newman in both slalom runs to come away with the individual title.

“Because I was so consistent throughout the season … I knew I wasn’t going to fall,” he said. “There was nothing like that that ended up concerning me. I wasn’t concerned about straddling, so I was really able to go like 110 percent.”

And come up with the perfect senior season to wrap up his high school career.

“I couldn’t be happier,” he said. “It’s just the cherry on top.”

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM

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