Leavitt Area High School‘s Logan Ouellette skates towards the finish line for a second-place finish in the finals of the Oxford Hills Sprints Nordic ski race at Sunnycroft Farm in Paris in February. Brewster Burns photo

Logan Ouellette’s success in cross country acted as a springboard and set the stage for his accomplishments at the Class B Boys Nordic skiing state championships in the winter.

The Leavitt junior finished first in Class B in two events and has been selected as the 2022 Sun Journal All-Region Boys Nordic Skier of the Year.

“I wasn’t sure whether or not I would be named that,” Ouellette said. “I didn’t think I even had much of chance, honestly. Mt. Blue, they have a killer ski team, and there are definitely quite a few other people as well in the region. There’s a lot of good, good skiers, and I have seen tons.”

Ouellette’s first-place finish in the classical (18:08.1) race and a fifth-place showing in the freestyle (12:20.9) allowed him to build an overall time of 30:28.9 to become the Class B boys freestyle pursuit state champ.

“What also impressed me a lot with Logan is that he is a team player,” Leavitt Nordic coach Dustin Williamson said. “He makes Nordic skiing a team sport, always helping out his teammates, always asking us coaches what he could do to help. I’m very lucky to be his Nordic ski coach, and his junior season was beyond successful.”

Not even the weather, which featured sloppy conditions one day and a frozen course the next, slowed down a highly-motivated Ouelette at the state championship races at Black Mountain in Rumford. 

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“Personally, I have been working hard for this type of season,” Ouellette said. “In one aspect, I was hoping for a season (that went) this well … but I wasn’t expecting to go all the way with some of the different races that I had.

Leavitt junior cross country runner Logan Ouellette celebrates as he finishes first in the Class B boys race at the Southern Maine regional in October 2021. Ouellete also placed second at the state meet. Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald

“I also do cross country in the fall and I got a lot of success from that. I was the region champ … as well for cross country and I came in second for the state meet. That kind of propelled more forward to be like, ‘I really want to go forward with this kind of success in skiing as well.’ I really worked hard this season and it came out to be the results I was looking for.”

Williamson said there is no doubt Ouellette’s cross country success carried over to Nordic skiing competition. 

“He had a really successful cross country running season last fall,” Williamson said. “He was the southern regional champion and made it to the New England championships. That fired him up so he came into the Nordic season wanting to push his Nordic to the next level. He wanted to move it to the elite level.”

Williamson said Ouellette established goals to keep him on track during the winter.

“At the beginning of the season, he had some goals, and what his individual goal was to be — I think it was (to be) top three at states, and I said to him: ‘No, no, no, no, top three. No, let’s aim for the top,’” Williamson said. “I knew he had what it takes, fitness-wise, and when you are at the top or near the top, having great technique is extremely important.

“We made some minor adjustments with his technique that paid off big time, and everything came together at the state meet — and I couldn’t be more proud of how he raced in both days, in the classical with the challenging snow conditions (and) racing through standing water and winning by just two seconds. Then in the pursuit freestyle the next day going out only two seconds in front of Sam Robinson (of Freeport) was tough, throwing in the icy cold snow that we had.” 

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