Now a senior at Leavitt Area High School, he’s expected to be one of the team’s leaders as the boys’ team tries to defend its KVAC crown and chase down defending champion Falmouth for the Class A state championship.
“At the beginning of high school, I wasn’t too serious about skiing,” Therrien said. “Over the summer, I trained with an upperclassmen and a close friend of mine and I found out I was fairly good at skiing. I just went from there and I have been training in the summers, working hard and to race fast.”
The past past two summers, he has been going to numerous camps to hone his technique and get faster. He said he needed to refine his technique heading into his final season of competitive skiing.
“He has a huge passion for Nordic skiing,” Leavitt coach Dustin Williamson said. “I was just thinking, I think his blood has ski tracks in it. He’s extremely dedicated, he has sights and goals set very high for this season. But they are all very achievable. He’s a fantastically dedicated Nordic skier.”
He enjoys the sport so much in part because it’s up to him — and him alone — to improve his times.
“Only you can make yourself better, and you can push hard every day and see results out of it,” Therrien said. “Unlike (team sports) like basketball where it’s you and the team for the success, it’s solely on you. You can be accountable on the placement in the big races.”
Therrien finished fifth in the classical race and ninth in the freestyle race at the state championships in Rangeley a year ago. At the the KVAC Championship, he finished ninth in the classical race and eighth in freestyle.
That was an improvement from his 15th place finish in the classical race and 18th place finish in the freestyle race at states his sophomore year
Williamson said last year’s results have driven Therrien for 2014-15.
Therrien believes the confidence he gained finishing in the top ten in the biggest races last season will help him improve on those results this season And he knows he has a teammate to whom he can turn for help. Harrison Knowlton, another of Leavitt’s top skiers, is coming off a career year in cross country.
“Harrison is a great person to talk to, he has the experience from racing in high level cross country races,” Therrien said.
Knowlton helps Therrien’s compete level, according to Williamson.
“Teammates can certainly make you better racers and athletes when you are surrounded by student-athletes,” Williamson said. “Having Harrison there for someone to ski with is just fantastic. Coach Steve McCarthy will also be out there skiing with him when he can. Whenever you are surrounded by great athletes, it makes yourself a better athlete.”
Therrien also ran cross country, which he did on purpose to help get his endurance up for skiing.
“Just comparing the cross country results, they just don’t correlate with Nordic skiing results,” Therrien said. “Myself, I am not a very fast runner, however it does give me the endurance I need to perform fast while skiing.”