Josh Smith of Mt. Blue High School burns down Black Mountain in Rumford during on his way to a KVAC giant slalom title in February. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

After spending the past four years on the slopes, Mt. Blue senior skimeister Josh Smith said he feels bittersweet about his high school career coming to a close.

Smith is honored to be named the 2021-22 Sun Journal All-Region Boys Alpine Skier of the Year, but he begrudgingly understands this was his last hurrah on the slopes for the Cougars.

“Actually, I am a little upset, but I can look back and enjoy the time I was skiing,” Smith said. “The racing was just fun. I really liked Alpine and just the physical demand of Nordic (racing).

“I have been racing since fourth grade. To be doing something for so long and know it’s over — not necessarily skiing, but the racing part — is kind of upsetting. It wasn’t because of performance or anything, it was just the end of something.”

Smith finished in second place at the Class A slalom state championships, with a time of 43.84 in one run. He took fourth in giant slalom, crossing the finish line with a combined time of 1:46.97 after two runs. His finishes led the Cougars to a second-place team finish.

“At Mt. Blue, anyway, and I am sure it’s probably the case at a lot of schools, we really emphasize team,” Mt. Blue coach Mark Cyr said. “It is all about making sure they get two solid runs in, especially at the state championship events and the KVACs. So maybe at other schools they promote winning at all costs as far as individuals, but both Sadie (McDonough) and Josh, they are thinking team all the time. .. For them to finish on the podium, that’s big.”


Smith said slalom is a better discipline for him than GS.

“After knowing there was one run (at states), I kind of just focused and just went for it, and I think that’s why I did better,” he said.

The skimeister also shined in the Class A Nordic state championships — on consecutive days of contrasting weather — producing two top-10 finishes and helping the Cougars claim the team title.

Skiers faced a sloppy, melting course due to spring-like temperatures during the boys Class A 5K classical race, which Smith finished sixth with a time of 19:03.9. The next day of the Nordic state championships was icy, blustery and cold, but Smith quickly acclimated himself and soldiered on to take seventh in the 5K freestyle with a time of 12:52.4.

“To manage his time and equipment … being at certain places at certain times, that’s impressive, you know,” Cyr said of Smith’s skimeister activities. “He always tried to get in some Nordic training and Alpine training in every day. Hats off to him for doing that, especially at the state level, (where) there is no recognition for it.”

Smith was also on top of his game at the KVAC Alpine championships. He won the giant competition with a combined time of 1:55.64 and placed second (1:21.76) in the slalom.


Cyr pointed out that Smith made the state team and went to New Hampshire and did well against other high schools from across the nation.

“He finished in the top third in both events,” Cyr said. “Maine sends 12 boys and 12 girls and both Josh and Sadie made the Maine state ski team. (Smith) is clearly one of the top 12 in the state.”

“I was anticipating (having a strong season),” Smith said. “It was a goal, and I achieved that goal, and it was nice to do as well as I did. It did surprise me, but at the same time I was confident I could do it.”

Cyr describes Smith as a silent leader who leads by example.

“He is not the kind of rah, rah kid up at the start, getting kids pumped up,” Cyr said. “He is business-like at the start. He is focused on what he wants to do. The other kids look at that and say, ‘That’s what it is all about.’”

“I don’t talk much,” Smith, a three-season athlete who also plays soccer and lacrosse, said, “but I try to put my best effort forward and hopefully people can look at that and follow.”

Smith wants to stay close to home and is considering studying economics at Bates College in the fall, and he is looking into playing soccer for the Bobcats as well.

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