Despite lack of snow in early going, Alpine ski still has State Meet experience

Now that snow is finally on the ground, Alpine ski is in full force and doing everything they can to reach their goals this season.

Will Krane

Now that snow is finally on the ground, Alpine ski is in full force and doing everything they can to reach their goals this season.

After a season a year ago that saw two athletes compete in the State Meet, the BSM Alpine ski team is looking to battle through the absence of snow in the early going to send as many competitors as possible to State again this season.

As is the case with the Nordic ski team, every year the Alpine ski team has to adapt to the weather patterns of the early winter season while still getting quality workouts in.  Even though it is early December and snow is still not on the ground in the Twin Cities, the team is getting into solid physical shape with dryland workouts.  “Even though we haven’t had any time on snow yet, the team has a great energy this season.  During dryland practices, we have definitely all worked very hard, and that should lead to an easier transition onto snow,” senior captain Mackenzie Swanson said.

In order to distinguish between Varsity and JV at the beginning of the season, the team runs a time trial at the beginning of the season, but the rosters of the teams change throughout the season.  “We haven’t had any on snow time this season to have a time trial, but we usually have a time trial before the first race.  The first run order is then based on how you do at the time trial, but athletes switch order regularly during the season,” Swanson said.

The team has lost a handful of last year’s seniors who graduated and had a major impact on the success of the team, but the team is hopeful that it can rely on younger talent to replace these graduates.  “As far as seniors, we lost some depth to the team, but we have younger talent to replace them. We lost Jaime Dritz, Kate Murnane, James Scott, Isaac Welsh, and Nick Backes – all of which raced at sections, except Isaac,” senior captain Ryan Tucker said.

Even with the lack of snow, the team has made the most of intense offseason practices in preparation for the regular season, and the team also practices throughout the week during the regular season when it is not racing.  “During the offseason, we prepare for the season by doing cardio and leg/core workouts in captain’s practice, as well as team bonding activities like a pickup game of soccer,” Tucker said.  “During the regular season, we practice Monday through Thursday, with races throughout the season. We have a few all-day races on Wednesdays during the season.”

The team will face extremely tough competition in their Section this season, but they have the kind of depth to overcome these teams.  “We are hoping to do well this year, even though we race in one of the hardest sections. Minnetonka has lost their best varsity girls, who were all seniors, but they have performed well each year,” Tucker said.  “Wayzata and Orono are also tough competition, but we have been consistent over the years. Our team is one of the only teams with depth, whereas some other teams only have five exceptional skiers.”

As with any team, the main stars will have to step up in order for the team to reach its goals and the Alpine ski team will be counting on experienced veterans to reach its full potential.  “One athlete that I’m hoping will have a great season is my sister, Abigail.  She made it to state last year, and hopefully will be able to this year.” Swanson said.  “I also think the Tucker brothers will step up this season and make the boys team very strong.  They have a great work ethic and are very passionate about skiing.”

In addition to these experienced veterans, the team will need other skiers who have not raced as much to give the team depth.  “This season, we need some seniors and underclassmen to step up and compete. Christopher Jones and Peter Christenson have improved significantly over the years, and I am excited to see how they do this year; hopefully they will help bring home some wins on varsity,” Tucker said.  “On the girls side, the Swanson sisters are returning as anchors for girls varsity, and hopefully they put down good times this year.”

Last year Tucker and freshman Abigail Swanson competed at the State Meet at Giants Ridge in Biwabik, and this season the team is looking to rise to the top of the Metro West Conference as well as having a strong presence at the State Meet.   “My goals for this year are to win the conference, and hopefully bring more people to state this year,” Tucker said.