Downey breaks out as star in North Shore Ski League

Feb. 15—Andover's Brooke Downey is never satisfied on the slopes.

Even when her coaches are ready to pack it in for the day at the end of practice, Downey is never quite ready to quit.

She always needs one more run.

"Every time we are about to pull the gates at the end of practice, I always ask the coach for one more run, because I believe that repetition is best," she said. "Usually, I find one thing to work on for each run, which helps me in the race. Plus, I just love the practices."

That extra run seems to be paying big dividend for the Golden Warrior junior, who has emerged as Andover's top performer in the North Shore Ski League standings.

"Even though the start of the season was delayed due to lack of snow, it has been so fun and exciting so far," said Downey. "My first race was definitely not my personal best, but I'm proud of finishing second and third in the next two races. Since then, I have been doing much better overall and very happy with the results. I'm very competitive and love to push and tell myself that there's always room for improvement."

Downey placed No. 2 overall (22.24) in the Jan. 22 race and followed that up with a third-place finish (21.58) in the Jan. 24 race. She has since added a fifth-place finishes in both the Jan. 31 and Feb. 7 races.

"Brooke loves to race, which is evident with her hard work," said Andover High coach Tom Busta. "She is always asking for, 'One more run,' every practice. She is a great skier, and a joy to have as a member of this team."

Downey fell in love with skiing not long after she started walking.

"I've been skiing since I was 2-years-old," said Downey. "My parents, especially my dad, got me into skiing at a young age, and ever since then I have been in love with the sport. I love the adrenaline, the outdoors, and the social side of skiing on top of the racing.

"When I was 10-years-old, I skied with the Gunstock Ski Club. I went through a day's worth of training with the kids my age, and I remember when my dad asked me how it went, I told him how much I loved it and that there was no option. We were joining!"

While still training with Gunstock, taking trips to Utah to ski with her family on February vacations and testing various exciting locations, Downey has a passion for competing for hometown Andover High.

"Being the top skier for Andover is great, it's definitely very exciting," she said. "I knew all along that I wanted to race for Andover High. I enjoy pushing and challenging myself, and it's a fun group of girls and a well established program. This is my third year on the team. We have lots of fun and support each other no matter the results. My favorite is the slalom races. It's a little more challenging but I love the technical aspect of it."

With the Interscholastic Race coming up on Feb. 14, and the state tournament on Feb. 28, Downey is looking to end the season with a bang.

"My goal is to ski well in the Interscholastic race, which is the last race in the league," she said. "After school vacation, I hope to be participating in the state championship. I'm going to continue to challenge myself and encourage my teammates to do their very best."