Q&A with Joe Snyder
Last season senior Nordic skier Joe Snyder qualified for the state meet out of Section 1 and finished 61st overall. So far this year, among other accomplishments, Snyder -- a team captain -- finished ninth at the Suburban East Conference championships last week, garnering All-Conference honors, and two weeks ago finished fifth at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day SEC pursuit race. This week, he'll be looking to qualify for state for the second straight year.
We sat down with the leader of Park's Nordic skiing pack to find out more about him on and off the course.
Q: What's your favorite skiing memory?
A: Last year while competing in a race, I broke both of my poles, and still placed in fourth. I knew after the second pole broke, I really did not have a chance of placing, so my goal was to finish the race with small poles and wait for my friends to tease me. After the race, they told me I placed fourth. I thought that was really funny.
Q: What accomplishments are you most proud of?
A: Qualifying for state in Nordic my junior year of high school. I set that as a goal for myself since eighth grade.
Q: Do you have one individual performance at an event that sticks out as being a great one?
A: The Broken Pole Invite of this year. I was able to beat Woodbury's top skier (and my good friend) Will Novotny by 30 seconds. It was amazing.
Q: Do you have one individual performance at an event that sticks out as being a bad one?
A: In ninth grade at the Nordic skiing section meet, I actually missed my start time, lost a pole and forgot my gloves in the coldest race of the year. Not a good race. Not my proudest moment, but I did learn to be on time and ready after that.
Q: Do you have any pre-meet rituals?
A: Feast the night before. I really need the calories built up prior to a race.
Q: Do you have a nickname?
A: Joey. In eighth grade, I decided it was time to start being called Joe instead of Joey, so I started signing everything as Joe, and really no one has caught on, so I am still Joey.
Q: What do you like to do off the course?
A: I really enjoy hanging out with my friends, playing ultimate Frisbee, sand volleyball and cross country running.
Q: What's your favorite movie?
A: Spiderman I, II and III. Why? Because it's Spiderman.
Q: Who's your favorite athlete?
A: Mr. Maher, teacher/coach at Park High School. He is very motivating, encouraging with my skiing and has been teaching me form for years. He is always there with encouraging words, to help me become a stronger skier for the next race.
Q: What's your second favorite sport?
A: Cross country running. It is a sport of endurance and strength. Also, my friends (the hooligans) are runners. We really have fun.
Q: What are your future goals?
A: I hope to compete at Nordic skiing at the college level and continue with my education in construction management.
Q: What advice do you have for young skiers?
A: Do not give up, falling is a large part of skiing, equipment does break at the worst times and always be aware of your start time!