Mt. Blue senior Tucker Barber’s greatest Nordic skiing strength is the ability to outlast his opponents.
“Where other people start getting tired is where Tucker shines,” Cougars coach Claire Polfus said.
Barber’s problem at the start of the season wasn’t endurance. It was remastering all the nuances that come from being on skis.
He ran to a cross country state championship in November, and had put so much effort and energy into training for that, that it might have negatively impacted his skiing.
By the time the Sassi Memorial rolled around, Barber was in fine form, winning the late-January Nordic ski race by nearly 50 seconds.
“Winning the Sassi was pretty cool,” Barber said, “because after all the years you kind of have that race in your head because it’s the race everyone talks about.”
After the Sassi, Barber went on to win the KVAC championship and then sweep the Class A state championships — claiming his second title in the classical and first in the skate — and helped lead Mt. Blue to the team championship.
So, maybe he did start slow, but Barber’s senior sports year couldn’t have gone any better.
“I put more summer training and kind of mental energy into running,” he said, “and when it got to skiing, I realized, you know, maybe I should have put more into skiing.
“But then again, maybe I shouldn’t have.”
Barber will likely have to keep finding time for both. He isn’t quite sure of his plans yet, but he said he thinks he’ll be able to do both sports at the college level.
Mt. Blue’s Tucker Barber tucks as he enters the arena to finish the Class A boys’ freestyle race in February. Barber placed first to claim both Nordic individual championships.
Boys’ Nordic Skiing All-Region
Athlete of the year: Tucker Barber, Mt. Blue
Tucker Barber Mt. Blue Sr.
Isaiah Reid Mt. Blue Sr.
Cameron Bancroft Oxford Hills Jr.
Nolan Rogers Mt. Blue Sr.
Sam Stinson Mt. Blue So.
Jason Labbe Leavitt Sr.
Noah Lind Leavitt Sr.
Sam Smith Mt. Blue So.
Gaelen Boyle-Wight Telstar Jr.
Nate McNutt Oxford Hills Sr.
Harrison Walters Mt. Abram Fr.
Tom Bancroft Oxford Hills Fr.
Roy Varney, Leavitt, So.; Graham Huckins, Oxford Hills, Jr.; Zane Dustin, Oxford Hills, Sr.; Vernon Romanoski, Mt. Abram; Brandon Hemingway, Mt. Abram, So.; Kellen True, Telstar, Sr.