Eli Yeaton of Mt. Blue is the Sun Journal All-Region Boys Alpine Skier of the Year. Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn

Soccer season and some weight room work had Mt. Blue junior Eli Yeaton physically prepared for Alpine skiing season. Some mental and technical adjustments he made during the season made him a complete, tough-to-beat package at the end of the season.

“I felt a lot stronger and I was a lot more ready for the season,” Yeaton said. “With the new technique, I was able to go as hard as I was able to and still keep it in control.”

Yeaton pushed himself through practice and a strong regular season to ski his best when it counted most, which earns him the Sun Journal All-Region Boys Alpine Skier of the Year.

Yeaton skied well early in the season, Mt. Blue coach Mark Cyr said. But he was clearly still trying to make the transition from the fearless freshman with a constant need for speed to a more mature racer.

“He wasn’t holding back early in the season, but he was figuring out some technique issues and some tactical issues and trying to fine-tune some of his skiing. As the season went on, it all came together at just the right time,” Cyr said. ”

“A lot of it was ski positioning and where my feet were in location compared to the base of the gate and how wide my feet were,” Yeaton said. “A lot of the times when I get my feet too close to the gate, that’s what throws me out. So I was working on getting them out from under me, and that also brought them over faster, so I could get a quick transition and ski better.”

Once he got the technique down, Yeaton found it was easier to once again make speed a priority.

“I was trying not to worry about times and about what other people were getting (for times), because I’d focus too much on that and I’d almost forget how to ski,” Yeaton said. “I just focused on going fast. It brought me back to that freshman year, just going as fast as I possibly could.”

Fueled by the competition he had with teammates such as senior Sam Smith, Yeaton tried to go as fast as he could at practice.

“He was so focused at every practice,” Cyr said. “He was not only competing against other athletes on the team, including Sam, but also competing against himself. He wanted to improve from the beginning of practice to the end every day.”

Eli Yeaton of Mt. Blue is the Sun Journal All-Region Boys Alpine Skier of the Year. Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn

Yeaton started seeing his best results late in the season, including the KVAC championships, where he was runner-up in both slalom and giant slalom.

“I definitely was going into states confident, especially after doing pretty well in KVACs,” he said. “My headspace was pretty good the night before.”

Yeaton finished second in the giant slalom and third in the slalom at the Class A championships at Shawnee Peak. In the giant slalom, he closed the gap between him on eventual GS (and slalom) champion Sean Maguire of Marshwood by almost one second.

The result provided more motivation for Yeaton for what could be a very promising senior season.

“Even though I did quite well, I don’t think I skied to my potential quite yet,” he said. “I definitely know that there’s more that I can get to, there’s more that I can push it to.”

 


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