Long before he was Jenna Hanrahan’s coach with the Mt. Blue High School alpine ski team, Mark Cyr knew her as the girl who spent hours on the trails at Farmington’s Titcomb Mountain.

“I’ve watched her since she was 2 or 3,” Cyr said. “She’d ski the hill from the time it opened to the time it closed. She grew up ski racing. She’s put the time in.”

This year, as a sophomore, Hanrahan’s years on the trails paid off with a sixth place finish in the giant slalom at the Class A state meet.

For her efforts, Jenna Hanrahan is the Morning Sentinel Girls Alpine Skier of the Year.

Hanrahan entered her first race when she was 3.

“I was the youngest one there,” Hanrahan said. “I was skiing by myself at a young age. It helped my confidence.”

This year, Hanrahan got a season pass to Sugarloaf for the first time. Cyr said the time Hanrahan spent simply free skiing with her friends on the more difficult trails at Sugarloaf transformed her into a better racer.

“Just ripping runs down Tote Road (a Sugarloaf trail) made a difference,” Cyr.

Added Hanrahan: “It helped skiing on steeper terrain.”

At the Class A state championships, Hanrahan put together runs of 54.35 seconds and 57.19 seconds to place sixth in the giant slalom. In the slalom, Hanrahan led after a 42.07 second first run, but a tough second run kept her off the podium. Even so, slalom is what Hanrahan and Cyr consider her strongest discipline.

“She’s got good quick reactions. She doesn’t hold on to her edges too long,” Cyr said.

Hanrahan said her favorite part of ski racing is the camraderie with teammates and other racers. Most of the time spent at a meet is laughing with friends, she said, until it’s time to get in the gates and focus.

“It’s calming. It’s fun. There’s that minute you’re on the course where you have to be serious,” Hanrahan said. “Before I race, I’m like, ‘You can do it. Stand up. You’ve got this.'”

At the end of March, Hanrahan hopes to get to Sugarloaf to watch the National Championships, where she’ll see the nation’s best skiers take on the same trails she skies.

“I’m a very visual learner, so I hope to pick things up,” Hanrahan said.

With two more seasons of high school skiing ahead of her, Hanrahan’s goals are more improvement for herself and Mt. Blue.

“I’d definitely like to be a state champ. Not just me, but our team. We can get it done,” Hanrahan said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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