SKIING

Rapposelli poised to be an all-time CV great

Skiing prodigy Maura Rapposelli enjoyed an avalanche of success this winter, so much that she was left not hoping to qualify for postseason competition, but deciding which elite races to compete in.

Rapposelli, 15, qualified for the eastern finals team for ConVal by skiing to a top ten finish in slalom at the Meet of Champions, where she placed eighth with times of 41.25 and 43.59. She then qualified for the eastern finals team for the United States Ski Association while competing for the Crotched Mountain ski team.

Both eastern finals events were on the same weekend, leaving Rapposelli with a tough decision.

Ultimately, she chose to compete in the USSA event, “Both were great accomplishments. I couldn’t believe I qualified for both,” she said in an interview on Tuesday.

Rapposelli’s winter was chock-full of accomplishments. While qualifying for the New Hampshire meet of champions, she posted the fastest run of the day in slalom with a 40.92. This was not the first time she had posted the fastest time of the day, as earlier in the season she posted times that were faster than the boys.

Following her strong first run, she had a misstep, “I ended up launching myself out of the course my second run.” Rapposelli would get up and redeem herself by placing third in giant slalom at the division II state championships.

Rapposelli is constantly impressing her coach, Bill Leahy. “She is a pleasure to coach, and continues to surprise me with her growth as a skier,” he said.

Rapposelli, a sophomore at ConVal, has been skiing since she was 3 years old. “When I was 11 my dad suggested I try ski racing,” she recalled. She immediately fell in love with the sport. “I love going fast, and I like the competitive nature of [ski racing].”

Heading into the winter, Rapposelli had a goal to make it to meet of champions, something that she had already done as a freshman. “Making it again was exciting. Ski racing is crazy because time comes down to the hundredth of a second. I love how close it can get.”

Before racing Rapposelli enjoys listening to music while setting goals for herself. “Someone to beat, or something to improve on while skiing,” she said.

Regardless of her goals and achievements, her parents, Dave and Cherie, are always there to cheer her on. “Every race they can come to, they are always their for me.”

Rapposelli draws inspiration from Mikaela Shiffrin, a 19-year-old professional skier who recently took home the gold medal in the womens slalom at the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. “I love the way she skis,” said Rapposelli.

Whether she realizes it or not, Rapposelli is an inspiration for her teammates, “She is a great influence for the other kids [on the team]. Maura is a kid you feel blessed to coach,” said Leahy.

Leahy has high hopes for the young skier.

“She might be the best skier to ever come through ConVal,” Leahy said.

Even with her mountain of success this past winter, Rapposelli has no plans to slow down.

“My goals for next year are to make meet of champs again for high school,” Rapposelli said, “I’d also like to make the eastern states high school team again, and attend the race this time.”

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