Our March Athlete of the Month is Marli Damp. Marli is a 15-year old cross-country skier from Lake Placid, NY. In addition to training for cross-country skiing year-round, Marli is also competing on the Lake Placid High School track team this spring.

Like most athletes, Marli has a pre-race routine: “I put glitter on my face and wear my hair in pigtails.” Marli looks up to Olympic gold medalist, Jessie Diggins, who makes the sport fun and playful.

Marli’s goal for this season was to make top 20 at Junior Nationals in Anchorage, Alaska. Throughout the season, Marli had credible finishes and was one of the top U16s going into Nationals.

Although Marli had great results all season, she had difficulty overcoming obstacles at Nationals. “I sometimes overthink on race day and by doing so it takes away energy that I can be using in the race.” Marli has started to talk more with her coaches and peers in an effort to calm her tension before race events.  She also has begun practicing yoga!

Although Marli’s end of season goal was not met, she is “motivated by the bad races and will not lose my work ethic…I am looking forward to training harder.”  In regards to Marli’s work ethic, Head NYSEF Cross-Country Ski Coach, Shane MacDowell said, “Marli is self-aware of her obstacles and is committed to overcoming them.” Shane added, “Marli likes to be pushed and knows where she can improve in training and on race day…I am looking forward to witness her growth as an athlete.”

Marli is thrilled to move up to the U18 group next season because she “likes distance events and U18s race 10k’s versus 5k’s.” She is also excited for summer training because it is the “hardest training we (NYSEF) do all year…it gets us ready for the winter season.”

In her free time, Marli likes to water ski, run and write poetry!