Alpine team finally plunges into season

Team thrives after a late start

The boys’ and girls’ alpine teams both won the IMAC Conference Championship race on January 27.

Submitted by: Ellie Ankeny

The boys’ and girls’ alpine teams both won the IMAC Conference Championship race on January 27.

The fact that Minnesota has been having brutally cold weather this year is nothing new, but the lack of snow in the early months of winter is peculiar. The alpine teams, girl and boys, are feeling the repercussions of this odd weather. While both teams are skiing well, it has been hard for them to find a rhythm.

Both teams got off to a late start this season, not seeing any snow until December. The team, which  has had highly successful performances at the conference and state levels in recent years, seems to think that the late snow is seriously impacting their season.

“The start of the season was extremely hard, we didn’t have any snow, and it wasn’t cold enough to make snow at Buck Hill,” says Maddie Dekko ‘16. She adds, “The start of a season is typically a challenge for most teams, but without the proper conditions to practice, [it is] harder for the team, especially new skiers. It was challenging for the team to prepare for the season without snow, and only dry land [training]. While conditioning is good for a team, it is often seen as a pre-season activity, not something that continues until December.” Dekko also noted that although it took a while, the new skiers have found their place on the team and they are really “clicking” now.

 The late start to the season seems to have some other racers feeling anxious. “We were doing dry land for ages. We have only had three races [up through mid-January, whereas] we would usually have seven or eight by now” says Anabella Walser ‘18. While the team is off to a good start, this may be true. Skiing is a sport that requires specific technical practice, so when the team is doing dryland they are not getting what they need. Even when the snow came, there were still difficulties practicing. Both Walser and Dekko noted that even though there was snow, for a while there was not enough snow to set gates in the ground, so they could not practice racing.

While it may seem like situations like this would hurt most teams, it has hardly affected them. In the Independent Metro League Conference Championships, both the boys’ and girls’ teams won, with Dekko taking first place.  The team looks forward to  a strong finish, and hopes for success at the state championships.