Nordic Skiing: Shredding the Gnar Pow, Dude

Ruby Lindquist, Staff Writer

SHS nordic ski team of eight prepares for practice after school every afternoon, decked out in all their warmest layers. With only regions and state left to come, anticipation and determination helps motivate the team, even with the recent cold weather.

The team has three newcomers this year, including freshmen Sam Paperman and Cody Bryden, and junior Maggie Adkins.

“This is a great way for beginners to come out and get a feel for what racing is like,” Adkins said. “I am the type of person who has never really been on skis, so I just wanted to try something and learn and get better. A lot of my friends were doing it, so it was a really good option.”

Seward hosted their home meet on Saturday, January 27th. Four teams, including Homer, Soldotna, and Kenai Central, came together to tackle the hilly course at Mile 12. Spectators lined the course, consisting of parents, teammates, and supporters from the community.

“I really like the family aspect of skiing,” Bryden said. “Everyone is friends with everyone, and everyone supports everyone on the team.” Junior varsity skied one lap, with rookies Sam Paperman and Cody Bryden turning in great times. “The race was good,” Bryden said. “It was better than some of the other courses because it has lots of uphills and downhills.”

Bryden finished 7th in junior varsity, and Paperman finished 8th. Junior Sadie Lindquist, senior Emmalee Moore, and senior Egor Sturdy all had good races, despite varsity skiers having to do two laps instead of one. Senior Ruby Lindquist came in second for girls.

The ski team traveled to Homer on February 9th, to attack a difficult course that included a 1-kilometer uphill. “It was pure torture,” Moore said, thinking back on the race, “but the downhills made it a lot nicer.”

Fellow varsity teammate Ruby Lindquist, captured second in skate and first in classic, beside Sadie Lindquist who turned in one of her better races of the season, finishing fourth in the skate.

Junior varsity skiers Sam Paperman and Cody Bryden also turned in good races, both finishing top 10 in classic and skate. “None of us had much kick in the classic race, so it was pretty hard. But the skate was good,” Paperman explained.

In addition, Seward hosted Boroughs at Trail River Campground this past weekend. The course was a brutal 9.5 kilometers for both varsity and junior varsity, the longest race of the season. Skiers had to classic ski 6 kilometers, then transition to skate skis for another 4.5 kilometers. Ruby Lindquist came in third for girls varsity. For junior varsity, Bryden placed 6th, and Paperman 8th. “I think boroughs was one of my favorite home meets we’ve had so far,” commented senior Egor Sturdy. “I enjoyed that it was somewhere new, and there was a good crowd of people.”

With regions only a week away, the team is preparing to compete with some of the best skiers in the state of Alaska. “With just a few athletes from a small school, it’s easy to see ourselves as underdogs, but we often outperform that expectation,” coach Luke Rosier admitted. “I’m ready to go and represent the culmination of our hard work at regions and state.”