Good Afternoon MAST Families:
Fifteen of our athletes competed in the State Meet yesterday at Giants Ridge. We had a marvelous morning of training on Monday: sunshine, great snow, moderate temps, a forty plus second course, an excellent directed free skiing session, high spirits. Our skiers were well prepared to compete at their best. And as it turns out, many did just that.
The clouds moved in overnight as did the threat of rain. Thankfully, the rain held off until the second run. As is often the case, our race results were mixed. Although Andreas made a rare mistake and had to hike on the first run, our remaining five Washburn boys had very solid first runs and were well positioned to challenge for a spot on the podium in team scoring. After run one, Levi stood in 27th, Beckett in 31st, Finn in 35th. Jack had some trouble on the first run and lost a bit of time, but with a good second run he could still finish well and help his team make a run for a spot on the podium. As could Callum, who had a very good first run from the back of the pack.
Unfortunately, things didn't go as well on the second run. Levi ripped the second run only to straddle the last gate of the course. Without the straddle he would have finished 25th. Beckett smoked the pitch on his second run only to run into trouble managing the delay gate on the flats, resulting in some hiking on his part. Jack bounced back from his first run bobble to finish in 47th place. Even with his first run mistake, Jack finished 23 spots ahead of his starting first run starting position. By the time Callum took his second run, the rain had picked up, saturating the snow with moisture and severely impacting visibility. Unfortunately, Callum got tossed out of the course, allowing gravity, combined with the slippery and steep Helsinki pitch, to put an end to Callum's second run. Only Finn skied two clean runs for the Washburn boys, finishing 34th overall. Our lone Southwest boy in the competition, Parker Hunt, had a terrific result. Skiing in his first State HS Alpine Championships, Parker finished 24th overall, earning All State Honorable Mention honors. Congratulations Parker!!! You saved your best race of the season for the State Meet.
We had two mishaps on the girls' side. On her first run, Ellie Arbeiter straddled a gate on the top of Helsinki on and was disqualified when she misjudged which gate she needed to loop. But from the back of the pack on run two, Ellie skied very well in spite of the rain, ruts, and poor visibility to post an excellent second run time. Lea had a solid first run and was having an even better second run when she straddled a gate in the double hairpin near the finish and had to hike. I am pleased to say though that the rest of our girls were able to find success yesterday.
Gabby Harritt and Lucy Renz earned All-State Honorable Mention honors for their back to back finishes--21st for Gabby and 22nd for Lucy. Impressive. Eva Voyakin, an eighth grader skiing in her first State Championship, showed that ice runs through her veins by putting down two very good runs to finish 43rd. Not far behind in 48th was Ingrid Hartzell. Ingrid skied the best race of her career, proving that it pays to study video. After Monday's training, Ingrid watched video with the coaches and decided to make some tactical changes for the race. She succeeded in doing so and her result yesterday is proof. Impressive determination Ingrid. Ninth grader Avery Patterson had one heck of a day, skiing fearlessly down the steep Helsinki pitch on run one and with poise and determination down Innsbrook for the second run to finish 52nd. Elli George, who has been an outstanding captain for the last two years and the backbone of this quickly improving SW girls' team, ended her MAST career with an excellent second run after being less than satisfied with her first. Elli finished 54th overall.
So consider these move ups for our SW girls: Gabby started 31st and finished 21st. Lucy started 54th and finished 22nd; Eva started 70th and finished 42nd; Ingrid started 86th and finished 48th; Avery started 82nd and finished 48th, and Elli started 74th and finished 54th. Even with Lia's straddle, the Southwest girls had a great team result: fifth place! Congratulations girls!
Race results are attached and all video from our training day and race day can be found on Sprongo.
I want to thank the coaches who worked so hard all season to make our athletes increasingly competitive. Thank you to the parents who worked all of our races and did so in some very difficult and extreme conditions this Winter. Thank you athletes for bringing your brightest smiles, fierce determination, positive attitudes, and deep seated goodness to practice everyday. I sing your praises to anyone who listens. I plan to continue singing them at the banquet.
One of my biggest frustrations about high school racing is how much skiing is left at the end of our season. Just when you are figuring out technique and tactics and are poised to make another leap forward in your skiing development, we have to shut down as a team. The MN State High School League prohibits coaches from offering training to their athletes after the State HS Alpine Championships. Were we to violate that rule and continue to coach you in the weeks ahead, we would be jeopardizing your eligibility to race in the future and our positions as high school coaches. Along with some other alpine coaches around the state, I will be working to get this rule changed in the years ahead. Nevertheless, I want to encourage you to continue skiing until Hyland closes for the season. You can continue to refine your skills. Watch a Deb Armstrong instructional video and then go to the hill to try out the skill she introduced. She has dozens of short videos that will keep you busy until the lifts are shut down for the season. Watch the instructional videos on the Burke Mt Academy website that are narrated by Mikaela Shiffrin and then work the same drills that helped her become the best ski racer of all time. Search online for other great racing and instructional videos and then put them to the test on your own. Better yet, find a friend on the team and make a pact to work together to make a big leap forward.
And don't forget to see what we already have linked for your on our website:
Banquet is March 12. More information about the banquet coming soon. Just reserve the date for now.
Be well. Make good choices. Carve beautiful turns. In that order.