Alpine skiing prepares for state

Robby Sutherland

Fresh snow and sub zero temperatures in Minnesota mainly bring two things – hot chocolate and skiing. BSM’s ski team put on their spandex GS Suits and strapped in their boots for the bone-chilling temperatures that would await them at Hyland Hills for their first downhill practice.

A co-ed team made up of 30 students was eager for the snow to fall and for their season to start. “I was looking forward to shredding the slopes and making some gnarly new friends,” said sophomore skier Kyle Anderson.

History has treated BSM well in this fast-paced sport. “In its 11 years, BSM’s alpine ski team has already conquered the state meets twice. One for the boys and one for the girls,” said head coach Nicole Rasmussen.

So far this season, the alpine ski team has already had six of their ten meets held at different hills including Wild Mountain, Hyland Hills, Welch Village, and Afton Alps. “Wild Mountain was my favorite place,” said sophomore Reilly Dillon. “I had a good number of runs and some challenging hills.”

With only four meets left, the room for error is rapidly decreasing as the state competition approaches. “There’s a lot of good athletes on the hill but with hard work and dedication anything is possible,” said junior Griffen Knudsen.

To make it to state, the captains, along with the Mrs. Rasmussen, lead the team in practice on the slopes of Hyland Hills. “We practice to go faster but the chats on the chairlift are for sure the best part,” said senior captain Ryan Quinlivan.

Some skiers, such as junior Griffin Knudsen, work year-round to obtain a spot in state at the end of the season at Giants Ridge. “I train year-round so I’ll be prepared for the season,” said Knudsen.

Sophomore Jordan Dritz also skies year-round, splitting time between the BSM team and Buck Hill’s Ski Racing club. “I train Monday through Thursday, travel on Fridays and ski on Saturdays and Sundays,” said Dritz. “I travel all over the Midwest, including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and also Colorado four or five times a winter.”

For other racers, skiing is less of a competition and more of an opportunity to get better at skiing and have fun with classmates doing it. “I wanted to be in a sport that would be fun for me, since my basketball season was horrible last year, so I decided to go out for the alpine ski team,” said sophomore Conlan Gillespie.

All of these racers start out knowing little to nothing at all about each other but become closer as the season progresses. [My favorite part of being on the team] is definitely the people. We’re like a family,” said sophomore Alex Robbins.

While practices start early and continue throughout the season, these skiers continue to improve their skills on the slope. “I practice to start hitting the gates so I can get better times,” said Reilly Dillon. “My goal is to get a faster time each and every day.”

Practices have started to show improvement for everyone, especially the new racers. “We practice because we really need it. You don’t realize it does much until you look at the progress people who have never raced before make you see how much it helps,” said freshman Archie Boyle.

Not only is it fun for the racers, but for the coaches too. “One of the highlights of coaching this team is getting to know the individuals better outside BSM and seeing them develop as the season progresses,” said Ms. Rasmussen.

So far, the team continues to prepare for February 10 when few selected individual skiers compete for the state title. “I think that if all the girls ski their best, we might have a pretty good chance [at going to state],” said sophomore Jess Hickok.