Friday, February 28, 2014

Student Feature Friday: Freshman Skier Dallas O'Hagan

Freshman skier Dallas O'Hagan 
If you had the chance to watch any of the events in Sochi over the course of the past few weeks, you likely found yourself inspired by the skill and dedication of our Olympic athletes. From the hockey teams to bobsledding to the giant slalom, the events not only showcase athletes' amazing talents but also the inspiring stories of their commitment. As I watched the events, I thought of our own athletes and their stories of success. This morning I am happy to share the accomplishments of freshman Dallas O'Hagan who competed in Wednesday's state championship for alpine skiing. Included below are some questions and answers from my interview with Dallas. 

Q: How long have you been skiing? When did you get involved in competitive skiing?
A: I have been skiing for thirteen years. My parents first introduced me to skiing when I was two years old. I have been skiing competitively for eight years. My older sister Kelsey began racing two years before I started.  She enjoyed ski racing and given that, my parents signed me up when I was old enough.  I have been racing ever since.

Q: What is your favorite part of skiing?
A: My favorite part of skiing is knoll jumping. This is when you tuck from the top of a trail, then launch off one of the knolls on the trail.  But skiing in the woods with friends is a very close second.  I enjoy racing a lot too.

Q: What was the highlight of your ski season?
A: The highlight of this ski season was when I found out I made it to the Massachusetts State race.  Last year as an eighth grader I came very close to making states but missed the cut off by just a few people. My teammates and I also shared a lot of laughs together practicing on Wednesday nights at Ward Hill in Shrewsbury and racing on Thursday nights.  I like being with my teammates and coaches and working at improving my racing skills.

Q: What was it like to compete at the state championship?
A: Competing at the State Championship races was very nerve-racking.  I haven’t skied at Wachusett Mountain since I was four years old and needless to say I don’t remember it.  Forty-five minutes before the race began I was able to ski slowly beside the course along with the other competitors and view the course.  I learn about the terrain and where the panels are and mentally prepare myself as to where to tuck and where to check my speed.  I mentally go through the course when I wait up at the top of the mountain for my turn to race.  I am very focused and enjoy the speed and the challenge as I race.  In less than 60 seconds I have finished the Giant Slalom race and have skied from the top of the course to the bottom.  Truth be told, my favorite part of skiing both the slalom and the GS courses was that both of my teammates, my coaches and parents came to Wachusett to support me.

Q: What are some of your goals as you continue with skiing?
A: My skiing goals are simply to get stronger, ski better and faster and continue to have fun.  I continue to train on weekends in Vermont at Burke Mountain with high school students from the Burke Mountain Academy despite that the season is over for my high school team.  I plan to continue to be on the Nipmuc High School Race Team and hope to make it to the State Championships in my next three years in high school along with my great teammates.

Congratulations, Dallas. Thank you for representing your team and our school so well!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations Dallas. We look forward to following your successes on the slopes!