Five questions for alpine skier Mardi Haskell

Mardi Haskell (Holderness, N.H.), alpine skiing

1. As a talented skier, you must have been recruited heavily by many colleges. What was it about Colby that brought you here?
 

In skiing, there are 13 NCAA Division I schools on the East Coast, which narrows down the selection. I was seriously considering Dartmouth and the University of Vermont because they tend to produce the top racers. My best friend and current teammate, Michael Boardman, was being recruited to Colby and asked if I wanted to visit with him. I agreed to come along for the ride, and by the time I returned home after our visit, I began thinking that Colby may be the place for me. It all came down to the people and the team culture. They were the most tight-knit team I had encountered, and they proved to me that I could excel at Colby as well. Though I love the institution itself, the people are what make this place truly amazing.

2. You have been a three-time All-American with two more chances to earn honors at next week's NCAA meet at Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire. What has been your best memory of Colby skiing so far?

My best memories on the ski team have been going to the college races every weekend. Skiing is both an individual and a team sport, which makes college racing so special. We are invested in performing well because it will help the team do well. I love this about college because you become motivated to contribute to the team, and then you get to share the victory with your teammates.
 

3. You have had a nagging injury this season. What is the injury and how has it affected your skiing this year?

This season I have been struggling with back pain associated with some compressed discs and irritated facet joints. It has unfortunately kept me from training during the week, but I have been able to race on the weekends after taking four to five days off at a time. Fortunately, I’ve been able to race every weekend and have managed some good results.
 
4. You were more successful in the slalom during your first year at Colby, but your results have really taken off in the giant slalom since then.  How have you gotten stronger in the GS over the past three years? 

I wish I had an answer for this one, but I think I just started to understand how to gain and maintain my speed better in GS throughout the years. My coach, Danny Noyes, has helped me work on my technique and we’ve become a good team. I haven’t trained much this season, but I think being confident in my ability to perform is the key. I watch a ton of video, and do a lot of mental imagery. College prepares you to perform no matter what the circumstance may be. It teaches you to dive head first into something even if you’re not as prepared as you would have hoped.

5. You are majoring in biology.  What is next for you after Colby and also how is skiing going to be a part of your future?
I have no idea what I’m doing next year! I’m trying to decide whether I want to keep skiing or to begin my professional career in the sciences. If I want to keep skiing, I will join an independent racing team where I will try to qualify for the U.S. Ski Team. If I decide to retire, I will certainly keep skiing close to my heart. 
Haskell seventh for Mules
January 28, 2017 Haskell seventh for Mules
Haskell sixth in slalom
January 21, 2017 Haskell sixth in slalom