Boys and Girls Wrap Up Ski Season at State

MHS Boys Ski Team takes on State with another successful season. From left to right: Coach Bryan Feltz, Jude Kunkel (11), Griffin Ward (12), Nathan Shaw (12), Alex Seaborg (12), Zach Ostreng (12), Owen Winkelmann (9). Not pictured: Will Seaborg (9). (Midori Shaw)

Temperatures were low and emotions were high on the first day of the MHS Ski Team’s State Championship tournament weekend. The MHS Ski team started their first day at State at Mt. La Crosse on Feb. 20. 

Both the girls and boys teams qualified for State at Conference on Feb. 7. At State, the boys placed seventh and the girls finished in fourteenth. The boys were predicted to score in the top five, but a few falls and hikes (when a skier misses a flag and must walk back up the hill) hurt their scores. However, Senior Griffin Ward finished sixth in the individual boys ski combined at the State Championships.

Sophomore Morley Schroeder said the teams were very excited going into the first day of the tournament. 

The MHS Girls Ski team finished strong at State Championships.
Left to right, top to bottom: Megan McKenney (11), Lainie Riley (11), Morley Schroeder (10), Camryn Wirth (10), Rita Vavilov (9), Christie Munson (12), Anuhya Mandava (9), and Coach Midori Shaw.

“Thinking about all of the training that we have done was very exciting, but also a little nerve wracking,” she said. The team really wanted all of their hard work to pay off in the end and were excited to push themselves. Senior Griffin Ward commented, “The competition was surreal going into my last ever state championship.”

Overall the team was happy with their performance. “I feel very good about the races…I achieved my goals,” Shroeder said. 

One of the boys’ team captains, Nathan Shaw, explained that State was a very different course than anything the team had raced before. Compared to earlier matches, skiers had almost double the terrain to cover. He said that for those who finished, “it was their best game.” While it is tricky to know personal bests because of the longer races, the team thought they finished the season strong.

Looking forward, the boys hope to qualify for State again next year, even though five of the seven varsity skiers are graduating this year. The girls have also set their sights on State.

Girls’ team captain and Junior Sydney Knutowski wants the girls team to be in the top ten at state for next year’s season. The girls are only losing two of the seven varsity skiers.  

Shaw thought this year’s season was his “most fun season yet, just getting to know more people.” He said this season “ran very smoothly” after being able to return to their normal competition schedule. Due to the pandemic, the team was only able to have four races last season.

For those interested in joining the ski team next year, there is no requirement for ability level, and the team is excited to take anyone interested in joining. Shaw said that about half of the team joined ski racing for fun. 

“We have people on the team that have never skied,” he said. 

The team has a very supportive environment and has one or two practices a week. For those interested, there will be a winter sports meeting next year for new members, but in the meantime follow the team’s Instagram page (@mhsskiteam) or reach out to current members to get more information.