Mt. Abram Nordic skier Alex Hemingway races down the trail during Mountain Valley Conference championships Sugarloaf on March 9. Submitted photo

His classmates might have been hanging around a lake or a pool during the summer, but Mt. Abram’s Alex Hemingway was already back in training for the winter’s Nordic ski racing season.

His long, hot summer of training paid off. The junior snatched first-place finishes in the classical and freestyle competitions, with winning times of 14:47.6 and 6:57, respectively, at the Mountain Valley Conference championships last month. His stellar performances also earned him the Sun Journal’s Boys Nordic Skier of the Year honor for the second year in a row.

“It is kind of big. It’s in the paper, but I think it means a lot to coaches and everybody who got me here, to train me and see the progress I have made over the years,” Hemingway said. 

Though confident, Hemingway recognized that he was facing stiff competition at the MVC championships at Sugarloaf.

“It was kind of in my thoughts that I was potentially going to be on top,” he said. “But after the first race, and me not being a good sprinter, it was definitely kind of a toss-up the last race of the day.”

Hemingway added that the right nutrition, having a positive mindset and wax on his skis were all key factors in his success.

He said he also runs cross country in the fall, but a lot of his focus the remainder of the year is on skiing.

“Alex has been on a long-term plan since he was a freshman,” Mt. Abram Nordic coach Merit Bean said. “I think he was something like 42nd in the state meet his freshman year. Alex is a talented athlete. You know my quote, ‘Ski races are won in the summer.’ Alex puts his time in the summer. He has been very serious, very focused.”

Bean said Hemingway’s dedication is the real thing and extends to helping team. 

“He is the first one out and the last one in (during practice) every single day,” Bean said. “He has been a great leader. It has been rewarding watching him step up to take on some leadership roles. The team looks up to him as a natural leader.”

Bean said Hemingway’s maturity is another one of his assets.

“He is not somebody who draws attention to himself by being loud,” Bean said. “When he puts his mind to it, he works hard at it, and he is willing to make commitments.”

The self-effacing Hemingway is also quite an outdoorsmen who enjoys hunting and fishing. He added that the love of the Great Outdoors runs in the family.

“My dad is a good deer hunter; he always gets a deer,” he said. “I am more like a bird hunter — geese, grouse.” 

After graduation, Hemingway is looking into becoming a lineman, just like his father, who is now a supervisor.

“It is what my dad did. I have seen it, been around it and it is something I am interested in doing,” he said. 

 

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