Five Days of List-Mas: Wild card (with guest appearance)


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Whether you’re putting together a grouping of best quarterbacks or worst albums, or you’re making that special list for Santa, there’s nothing quite like a good list. So in honor of the holiday season we’re bringing you lists all week long — Merry List-Mas!

Today: Wild card! Featuring a guest appearance by Summit skier Tucker McCrerey.

All week long we've given you our lists of the best of high school sports. Today, defending Nordic ski champ Tucker McCrerey, a senior at Summit, joins the List-Mas effort to tell us the five things we need to know about his sport. We'll let him handle it from here; in the meantime, follow him on Twitter @TuckerMcCrerey.

5. Training

"People underestimate how much training we do. It's not a huge sport in the US, and people don't know the rigors of the sport. During the summer I work out about 30 hours a week, which is really building a base, and then in the winter it's down to about 20 hours. And it's a lot of core work, but we train our upper bodies pretty hard too. You need to have a strong upper body for pole work."

4. Two different disciplines

"I prefer Classic skiing, but to win races you have to be good at both Classic and freestyle, or skating. Skating is more of a motion like in hockey except your arms are moving differently. Classic is more of a natural motion. Many people think it's just like running, but actually there's a lot more to it than that. It's very technical. When you're good you just glide along the tracks (there are assigned tracks to stay in for classic skiing) but it takes a lot of practice to really pick it up."

3. Skiing uphill

"A lot of people ask me why I ski uphill instead of downhill. I picked it up when I was young. My parents were huge downhill skiers, and I did that for a while, but I ddin't like it. It's a lot of waiting around. So I picked up cross country skiing. Some people call it a 'sickness.' That's about right. I know a lot of elite athletes have tried it, but it's not for everybody."

2. Sub-zero training

"This past week I was training here in Summit and it was very cold. Obviously in this sport you're outdoors in the winter a lot. I try to keep my goals in mind when it's really cold or you don't want to work out. It's very hard to motivate yourself when it's five below zero on a Sunday afternoon. But you have to keep those goals in mind. There's a huge mental aspect to this sport."

1. Being a state champ

"As with any other sport, you just have to want it. You have to want to win and you have to be the best. You have to desire to win, and you have to want to train. If you want to win but you don't want to put in the effort, it's not going to be there. You have to want it on a daily basis."