Just a reminder that Hyland is NOT hosting a JV race today. Instead, we will train from 5-7:30 on lanes 2 and 3. Your MAST Coaches WILL run a MAST JV Race on Lane 4 on Saturday. We will record times and announce winners at the end of practice. We will also offer training on lane 5 for everyone. Please arrive at 7:45AM for warm up. This will be our last Saturday morning practice. You don't want to miss it.
Alex will be the lead coach for the last two practices of the season next Monday and Tuesday from 6:30-8:45.
Monday: Lanes B and C.
Tuesday: Lanes 2 and 3.
Great lanes..... more great training. Meet on North Chair for warm ups at 6:30. Look for Alex on an open lane.
Section IV Championships Recap
Early morning alarm. Catch the coach bus in the dark. Below zero temps. Sunshine. Hard snow conditions. Good course sets. Tents. Fires. Ski team flags waving proudly in the breeze. Ava Paulson igniting the crowd with her a cappella rendition of the National Anthem. Cannon fire. Skiers of all shapes, sizes, ages and ability levels ripping off their pre-race warm up runs. Twenty-eight MAST athletes representing four Minneapolis high schools are listed on the run orders. A deep field of 116 girls from 21 area high schools and 124 boys from 23 schools. Tension. Nerves. Excitement. Thirteen weeks of hard work comes down to one race. How did our athletes do?
Well... pretty darn good. The SW girls had an amazing day. All six girls finished in the top 19 to defeat an outstanding Blake team for the Section IV Championship. Elsa Peterson finished 3rd. Peyton Smith came in 6th. Rachel Tanner was right behind in 7th and Sophie Hedrick was the fourth SW girl to qualify for State as an individual, coming in 11th. Ava Flaskamp finished 18th and Addie Streble 19th. Their strong skiing skills and fast times drew the attention of other coaches on the hill. Many commented to me on how well our later seeded skiers performed compared to those from other schools. I agree. You were impressive. MAST almost had 7 girls in the top 20. Ahnika Berg was in 7th place after the first run and had a mishap on the second run to finish out of qualifying position and drop back to 28th overall. Had she had a clean 2nd run she surely would have finished in the the top ten. Ahnika's hard work this season has turned her into one of the best technical skiers on the hill. Her day will come. Even with Ahnika's bad luck, the Washburn girls finished 6th with Astrid Franzen (27th) and Ava Paulson(30th) having very strong results. Audrey Mitchell put down two solid runs to finish 51st after starting 76th and Quinn Jurek (58th) and Sonia Svedahl(72) impressed me deeply with their determination and grit. They overcame some first year nerves to ski aggressively on both runs. Finishing in the middle of the pack in their first year at Sections is an impressive accomplishment. MAST did put 9 girls in the top 30 and 11 in the top half of the field. And Ava Paulson knocked everyone's socks off during the opening ceremonies with her solo performance of the National Anthem. Look out Adele.
The SW boys had a few troubles unfortunately, with two of the senior boys, Jon Savage and John Lazur, having difficulties on the first run. These two captains work incredibly hard in practice and are tremendous leaders on the team. The coaches and I were hoping they could finish the season strong and possibly qualify for state. After their first run set back, they showed the depth of their character by giving it all they had on their second runs and posting very fast times. Jon had the 14th fastest second run time and John had the 26th. Well done boys. Liam Huyen had a very strong result, finishing in 13th place. Liam was only .11 seconds away from qualifying for state. A disappointment for Liam but he should be very proud of his performance. Success is measured by how far one has come, and Liam came a long way in only four seasons to finish 13th in the section championships. Your coaches are proud of you Liam. Liam will get the opportunity to forerun at the State Championships, which will help us give our skiers a solid course report. Ben Tanner had a solid day, finishing 28th, but was suffering from an upper respiratory infection. The infection seemed to slow him down a bit on Wednesday. His skiing was beautiful to watch but it was missing the zip that he has been skiing with the past couple of weeks. Like Ahnika, Ben will be back to have a better day next year. Also skiing well for Southwest were Charlie Smith and Ryan Arnold. Ryan showed nerves of steel by putting down two strong runs to finish 47th after starting 114th. Charlie skied fast on his first run but then had to correct a straddle as he approached the finish line. He came back on the second run to post the 49th fastest time as a first year racer and a 7th grader. The future looks strong for SW with Ben, Ryan and Charlie returning and a very fast and hard working group of younger skiers waiting their opportunity.
Our three Roosevelt skier were Odin Mueller, Gunnar Legler and Oliver Mueller. Odin had a great day, finishing third overall. Gunnar and Oliver both had some troubles on their second runs but skied very well on their first runs. The South team consisted of Drew Hemer, Ian MacKimm and Brennan Sele. Drew and Ian had some difficulties on their second runs but Brennan put together two solid runs. All three boys have improved dramatically this season and will be back next year. I look forward to seeing them finish in the top thirty next year.
Logan Griggs was the top finisher for Washburn boys (9th) and Luke Conway finished back in 22nd after making major errors on both of his runs. Fortunately our third and fourth seed racers had very good race runs to finish 26th (Willem Robertson) and 30th(Augie Bent). All of us thought that Luke's misfortunes on both runs blew any chance of the Washburn boys finishing high on the podium. So when the MC announced that Washburn finished second, we were both shocked and overjoyed. The boys had beaten a very good Hastings team (who had beaten us twice this year) as well as a very good East Ridge team. Only St Thomas was ahead of the Washburn boys.
MAST brought 28 skiers to race in sections and 14 are going to have an opportunity to ski in the MN State High School Alpine Championships, representing three of our Minneapolis High Schools. Not a perfect day, but pretty darn good. We are sending two seniors to state, three juniors, two sophomores, and six freshman. The future looks pretty good as well.
I want to thank all the athletes and alternates for bringing your best effort to the hill on Wednesday. You did everything the coaches asked of you and more. For many of you, the day went perfectly. The reality is that ski racing is an unforgiving sport and some of you stumbled. This will always be the case for ski teams. It is very rare that a full team of ski racing athletes can execute perfectly on the same day. To those who stumbled, you made us proud because you gave it your best effort with the attitude of a winner. You didn't quit. I want to thank all the coaches who attended the race and those who couldn't make it: your dedicated efforts on the hill this season made the MAST skiers the most technically proficient group of skiers on the hill on Wednesday. It was beautiful to watch the high edge angles, the proper gate clear, the outside ski pressure, the disciplined upper bodies, the pole plants... all executed so well by our skiers. And I want to thank all the parents who came to support our skiers, to set up tents, serve food, clean up, and work the race. What an amazingly generous group you are!!!
Thanks for a wonderful season. Next up: The Minnesota State High School Alpine Championships.
See you there.