State Skiing

Cody Bryden, Yee Yee Ski Ski

Warren Miller once said, “A pair of skis are the ultimate transformation to freedom.” The Seward High School nordic skiers certainly take that to heart. From the fast flats of Bear Lake, to the intense hills of mile 12, Seward’s skiers did it all. New team members learned how to keep on their feet while the returning skiers mastered their old skills.

Even though the snow came late, the team enjoyed getting out everyday, and with high spirits, the new skiers filled the trails with laughs and smiles. Even if they were hesitant about joining, they all were glad they did. This year’s team got bumped up by a new group of eager skiers. Lucas Brockman, Malia Hewitt, Alexi Walker, Sofia Perazzi, Jennifer Gomez, Teak Barhaug and Corbin Kirchner all had major improvements. When asked how this season was, Corbin commented that “It was fun; [although,] I’m not very good.” Sofia Perazzi said that “it was really challenging to learn how to ski, but once I got it down I had so much fun and really loved the team.”

The biggest highlight of this season was everyone enjoyed it! It was a bit rough with the low snowfall, as the team did not get to ski until January. The best meet the team participated in was in Soldotna. Our racers destroyed the only sprint course of the season. In the mixed relay, Clay Petersen, Alexi Walker, Cody Bryden, and Lucy Hankins came home with a top ten finish. The intense relay had two 2.5k classic legs and two 2.5k skate legs. Clay started the race off strong, leaving the team in top ten as he handed it off to Alexi. Alexi skied her 2.5k and passed off to Cody, who laid down a solid skate time. Lucy left the gate for the final skate leg. Right before the end of the race, she made one more pass and came across the finish line in tenth. 

This was Zach’s second year coaching this sport. Having taken his knowledge from last season, he set out with good a spirit. With support from the Booster Club and other sources, he was able to remodel the ski shed and get new skis for all the new-coming skiers. Zach kept everyone moving around, and was always making everyone smile.

The season lasted all the way to the state competition held in Anchorage, where Cody Bryden, Lucy Hankins, and Clay Petersen went all out. Day one started with Lucy finishing 15th in her 5K skate race. Shortly after, Cody and Clay left the gate. Half a kilometer away from the finish of the 7.5K mens skate race, Cody’s pole broke. With no spare pole, Cody finished the race 2 seconds behind the top ten. Clay was following close behind and crossed the line in 15th place. 

On the second day, skiers woke up to almost whiteout conditions all across Anchorage. Fresh snow and warm temps made it harder to guess kick wax. Cody and Clay started in the men’s 10K classic mass start. Clay left it all on the course, taking 6th with Cody 7 seconds behind him taking 7th. Lucy started an hour later in the women’s 7.5K classic. After zooming through the course, she flew across the line in 13th place, ending the Seward High School Nordic Ski 2020 season on a high note.