BSM Alpine team hits the slopes at Sections


Photo courtesy of BSM Alpine Parent

Sophomore Abigail Swanson hitting a gate at Afton Alps

Grace Christenson, Staff Writer

While afternoons spent hitting the slopes are long over for most of BSM’s alpine team, the ski season is still underway for the boys and girls who qualified to compete in the 5A Section Meet last Thursday, February 8 at Afton Alps.

While neither the boys’ nor the girls’ section teams qualified for State, the 2018 section team was not short of talent, especially in the case of the girls’ varsity team. “[The season has] gone really well for the girls’ varsity team.  We’ve won most if not all of our conference races, and won conference overall.  We’ve seen some incredible improvement from a lot of skiers, and I’m really hoping that our team next year will be just as strong, if not stronger,” junior team captain and two-time receiver of the All-Conference Award Amelia Backes said.

Backes went on to note this isn’t the first time the team has produced an exceptional amount of aptitude, though she was quick to credit her fellow alpine members including junior Emily Platt, freshman Madeline Walesch, seventh-grader Catherine Dowden, and senior Lauren Copeland for the remarkable improvement each has made this past season. “Everyone has had an incredible improvement over the entire season,” Backes said.  

The coaches also played a pivotal role in the team. “Our new coaches this year have been very helpful. Coach Greg and Louis, both new this year, have both turned out to be excellent coaches,” Backes said.

Junior Thomas Forby, who also raced at Sections on Thursday, agreed with Backes. “All of the coaches have done a wonderful job helping everyone get the most out of each practice. [ Coach Louis] especially [has] helped me grow and get faster to be the best skier possible,” Forby said.

Like Backes, Forby feels the boys’ alpine team has made a vast improvement this season, especially after losing of many strong alpine racers, notably brothers Matthew and Ryan Tucker, who graduated from BSM last spring. “The varsity team lost a very talented senior class last year, including the Tucker brothers. Although we lost so many talented seniors, many of the younger guys have stepped up and have performed to help close the gap and not be too far behind from last years’ team,” Forby said.

Although Forby and Backes both recognize the loss of last year’s senior class was certainly felt at this year’s Sections race, both are hopeful next season will bring better luck to the BSM alpine team. “I think that as a team, we put down some really solid runs, and I’m proud of how we did,” Backes said.

This year’s Section team placed 8th for boys and 5th for girls. Senior Abigail Swanson placed 8th in her category and is the only BSM alpine member to have qualified for State on February 14th at Giant’s Ridge.