READFIELD — Katie Ide learned something from an unlikely source this winter: Herself.

“When someone asks you for advice or if you’re just talking about things, you realize sometimes that you need to do what you’re saying to them,” Ide said. “If you’re telling people not to stress themselves out or worry about things that are happening, then maybe you need to hear what you are saying for yourself.”

Katie Ide of Maranacook is the Kennebec Journal Girls Alpine Skier of the Year. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

A junior at Maranacook, Ide made a seamless transition to giant slalom success this season. She finished third in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference meet in the event and then took a step forward in the Class B state meet, where she finished third in the giant slalom for a Black Bear team that won the team state title.

For her efforts, Ide is the Kennebec Journal Girls Alpine Skier of the Year for a second straight season.

“She was our most consistent performer all year, finishing inside the top (five) regularly through the regular season meets, conference championships and the Class B State meet,” Maranacook coach Ronn Gifford said. “Likely her biggest contribution to the team was her strong, calm leadership that she exhibited from the start of the season. With the team truly focused on winning a state championship, she kept the team focused on the process of developing their skills, growing together as a team and ultimately not getting ahead of themselves.”

And that’s where Ide’s biggest improvement might have come, too.

As a first-time captain, she said she learned some important things about the group dynamic that helped her own individual performance. She worried less about the racing component and more about the act of skiing.

“It was more about focusing on my skiing itself and not necessarily the racing,” Ide said. “At the beginning of season, I wanted to make sure I nailed down technique and got comfortable again on skis before I tried to improve on my racing.”

It’s not always easy to train for giant slalom in high school.

Most team training facilities are on glorified hills, not on mountains where more space and distance is needed to try a true giant slalom run. Kents Hill’s skiing facility, for example, is where Maranacook trains.

Though slalom in viewed as the more highly technical of the two downhill disciplines, that work in practice helped Ide’s giant slalom efforts.

“I used to really prefer slalom,” Ide said. “Seeing how my giant slalom improved, especially early in the season, that surprised me. It was about really nailing down the line of the course. At the beginning of the season, I really got that down. It was bout going fast and letting my skis go, trying to gain speed wherever I could.”

“Technically she made a number of key improvements,” Gifford added. “She was creating much greater angles at her hips for better and stronger edge control, and she really quieted her upper body rotation into a more square, down-the-hill position which also aided her angle creation… which gave her a much more balanced and solid position to attack from and be create more consistent speed generation opportunity. “

But no matter what Ide did, or how she improved or where she finished in a particular meet, there’s only reason she feels like the winter was a complete success.

And it has nothing to do with her, beyond her pride in being a Black Bear captain and playing a role in how the season ended.

“One of my goals was to improve my giant slalom skiing, and I did that,” Ide said. “But I feel like this was a good season because my team had a ton of success this year, and we won states and that was really awesome.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC


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