LEWISTON — Heading into her last season, Meghan Charles wanted to enjoy her favorite sport one more time. She also set lofty goals for herself: top three in both KVACs and in states.
“I tried not to put too much pressure, even though I had high goals, it was difficult to make sure I wasn’t going to lose it mentally,” Charles said. “Having it be my senior year I wanted to do well and end on a high note.”
At KVACs, Charles won the overall pursuit by one minute, 18.7 seconds. A big reason for the win was her off-season training.
“The weight training program in cross country worked really well to keep me on schedule,” Charles said. “Being able to lift and build up sprint strength. I have always had trouble not having strong arms, so I was setting myself up strength wise for this year.”
While the senior put the work in, she knew how to keep relaxed in big moments with the help of her teammates.
“It’s never a dull moment,” Charles said. “There are so many funny people with hilarious personalities and I would say we were all pretty close. We had a dance party after KVACs with three other teams. It was really cool and fun. We didn’t have really any cliques and we would have fun on the bus rides, have fun before races, put glitter in our hair to get excited for the race.”
Charles finished third after the first day at Class A states, setting her up well for the pursuit on day two.
“Second day pursuit is kind of interesting. You’re skiing with that person (near you) so that kind of makes it exciting. That’s probably one of my favorite ways to start a race.”
The senior secured a fourth-place finish in the freestyle race and fourth overall. For Charles, it was about more than just her results.
“It was amazing,” Charles said. “I had fun and I had really great results, too. Not just me, but my whole team. We had some awesome new girls who picked up the sport so fast and it was awesome to see them love it instantly.”