Good Morning MAST!
I am happy to report that our athletes had a very good day yesterday at Giants Ridge competing in the Minnesota State High School Alpine Championships. Not everyone had the result they had hoped to achieve, but everyone gave it everything they had. For many, things came together well. For a few others, bad luck prevailed and thwarted their good efforts.
The Washburn Boys placed 2nd in the team competition, only one point ahead of 3rd place Minnetonka and seven behind first place Edina.
The Southwest Girls also landed on the podium, tying Minnetonka for 3rd place.
Both teams earned big trophies to add to their school’s trophy case.
Here are some highlights.
Congratulations to all of our athletes. You worked very hard to earn a spot on your school’s section team. When one of your teammates struggled at Sections or State, others stepped up to score points. You sacrificed individual success for team success. Skiing as a team is what makes high school racing so unique and so fun. Great job everyone. Even those of you who did not have your best day yesterday.
The logistics of taking fourteen racers and three alternates to State on a limited budget proved a bit complicated but with the help of our awesome coaches and parents, we got it done. Thank you to Kelly and Christine for driving up in the snow storm with all our food and getting the kids fed on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Not sure how we could have managed without you two. Thanks to Doug and his crew for working the tent and organizing the awesome lunch for everyone. I will get video posted today so you can see all of our athletes’ performances and get a sense of the wonderful atmosphere at State.
Needless to say, our coaches were awesome... Daniel and Matthew and Joel (driving the trailer) and Gary all transported athletes to and from Mpls/Lodging/GR, slept on cots and air mattresses, worked tirelessly on the hill and off, and kept things positive and supportive. Willie took a day off of work to drive up with Charlie and brought his usual enthusiasm and energy. And, of course, Charlie put himself on course crew to help keep the track clean for our racers in the back of the pack. Christine filmed all the girls and Kelly offered support at the start and finish line all day.
I also want to thank the alternates for their support these last two days: Wilson Psotka, Ella Horgan, and Mae Niebuhr. They were able to train with the team on Tuesday and were well prepared to race in case they were called on to do so. They were great support to their teammates all day yesterday. We also had a big group of parents and fans at the finish line to cheer on our athletes. It was wonderful to have Emmet Sutton, Charlie Smith and last year’s co-captain Peyton Smith all in attendance to offer their support. It was truly a community effort. We need to savor this success. It doesn't come easy. There are simply too many unforgiving dangers in skiing to thwart a team's goals. Caught tips. Binding pre-releasing. Hip checks. Missed placed pole plant between the legs.
Finally, I want to thank all of you who could not make it up to The Ridge yesterday. Even though you couldn’t attend, your efforts this season made this day possible. To the athletes, you pushed your teammates to work hard every day in practice and at races. You made your teammates better and prepared them to face the best competition in the state this week. Thank you to our MAST Board of Directors for all your work over the past twelve months. You made yesterday possible through your hard work behind the scenes. Thank you to Sally and Becca and the volunteer coaches for your tireless work all season long. We have a wonderful group of young athletes well prepared to step up to varsity next year as our seniors move onto college. And thank you parents for entrusting your students to our program. You offered endless support and encouragement all season long, and you endured all of my emails that never seem to end.
As you know, we are having the best Winter ever. Don’t start wishing for Spring. Go ski and enjoy this lifetime sport. Athletes: if your parents don’t ski, offer to teach them how. And if they do, gently teach them some of the skills you learned this year. And be sure to thank your parents for all of their financial, logistical, and emotional support. Not everyone is so fortunate to have parents as supportive as yours.
See you at the Banquet on Sunday, March 17. Details to come.