Athlete Spotlight: Wahconah's Tanner Hill
Ahead of this week's MIAA Alpine state championships, Wahconah skier Tanner Hill stopped in at The Berkshire Eagle on Friday to chat about his ski season, how he got his start on the slopes, his go-to meal after a day on the mountain, and plenty more.
THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE: What's your earliest skiing memory?
TANNER HILL: My earliest memory was when I was 7 or 8. I was at Bousquet skiing, went onto the terrain park, went off a huge jump, went way past the landing and just went everywhere.
EAGLE: When did you know that you had an ability to race?
HILL: Probably when I was younger. I was skiing with my dad, and I saw the race team doing their course, so I wanted to do it. I just started getting progressively better, and started doing well.
EAGLE: What is your favorite of the disciplines?
HILL: Definitely slalom.
EAGLE: What is that you like about slalom?
HILL: I like hitting the gates. I like the speed. It's faster, but it's a lot more technical.
EAGLE: What do you make of how your season has gone so far?
HILL: I think I'm doing pretty well. I'm running second for states for boys. I'm glad Kyle Brogan is second for Berkshire County. It's going to be a lot of fun skiing with him.
EAGLE: What are your thoughts on Wachusett [Mountain], where you guys will race states?
HILL: It's a little flatter than what I'm used to, but I like it. It's fun.
EAGLE: Do you ski it often, in preparation for the state race?
HILL: I'll go there like twice a year.
EAGLE: Is racing ever scary? In the sense that you are going really fast and are going around those gates. Are you ever nervous? Or do you have sense of confidence in your ability?
HILL: I think I have a sense of confidence. There have been a couple of races where I've been pretty nervous because the slopes are pretty bad, for club team, but other than that it's pretty good.
EAGLE: You touched on your early ski memory being a little bit of a wreck. Do you have any other ones that stick out?
HILL: Freshman year, I was skiing down a course and I broke my ski. It didn't go well from there.
EAGLE: Do you plan to ski in college?
HILL: Yes. I committed to Clarkson University today, to join their USTSA ski team. It's D-II, technically.
EAGLE: First of all, congratulations on that. Always a big commitment. What was it about the school and the program that stuck out to you?
HILL: It's a lot of fun. It's a really competitive league, but it's also a lot of fun.
EAGLE: You ski in the winter, but in the fall you were on the football team. Are there any similarities between the sports?
HILL: They are both — football is a huge team sport, and so is skiing, but in skiing you also have to work on individually to do better. You get to join a team and are part of a team. The inter-team bonding is a lot of fun.
EAGLE: What's been your favorite class that you've taken at Wahconah?
HILL: I'd have to say physics.
EAGLE: What do you like about physics?
HILL: We did a lot of projects last year. We did bottle rockets, we did making our own boats, we did potato cannons. It was a lot of fun.
EAGLE: What's your favorite thing to eat after a day on the mountain?
HILL: Most race days I'll go Ayelada, and I'll get some frozen yogurt. Other than that, regular ski days, I'll just go home. My mom makes dinner.
EAGLE: Now I happen to be a big frozen yogurt guy myself; what's your go-to order?
HILL: I'd have to say either the caramel or the mango.
EAGLE: Outside of sports, do you have any other hobbies?
HILL: I actually like to hunt a lot.
EAGLE: What's your favorite kind of hunting to do?
HILL: I have a lot of fun deer hunting with my dad.
EAGLE: When did you start hunting?
HILL: Around when I was 12. I got my dad into it, and we started going a lot more.
This interview was conducted, edited and condensed by Geoff Smith.
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