2021-22 Ski Season Recap


The 2021-22 Nordic Ski team, consisting of Aly Guernsey (11), Trevor Guernsey (10), Oliver Trobaugh (9), Gracie Russell (9) and Katie Van Buskirk (9), along with their coach Brooke Estes, has powered through their shortened season. Because of the December start, the team only attended three meets before Regions where each individual needed to qualify for State. 

The team had more freshmen than any other grade. Gracie stated that her first ski season in Seward High School had been “amazing,” and she enjoyed the overnight meets where she “spen[t] more time with the team.” Katie and Oliver most enjoyed the Tsalteshi meet because “there was the perfect amount of hills and flats,” and “the snow was super fast.”  Gracie and Oliver skied JV all season, and Katie took the leap to varsity in Regions in order to attempt a qualifying place for State.

Aly and Trevor were the only non-freshman skiers. This is Trevor’s second year in skiing, he declared that the season had been “pretty great.” He especially enjoyed the State tournament since “Fairbanks was pretty neat.”

In addition to the first time skiers, the team also had a brand-new coach for the season. Brooke Estes is a Seward High alumni, and participated in skiing, track, and cross-country running all four years, as well as managing the wrestling team. She spent several years managing Skiland in Fairbanks, and her expertise was invaluable when skis broke and other such situations. Estes brought a fun new perspective to the team, introducing Pac-Man on skis, various relay variations, and forgotten ski workouts from her time as a skier. 

Estes herself commented “[when] we got off to a late start the athletes enthusiasm gave us a great jump start to the season” and the “group of athletes I had the privilege to work with were extremely supportive” in her first year as a coach.  She is looking forward to working with “this group of athletes again next year” and hopes “to see new people join as well! Skiing is a fun sport to get you outside and active throughout the dark winter months.” When asked what she learned that will be helpful next season, she said this: “Transportation and groomed trails are always a huge if when it comes to skiing. Being flexible and willing to change plans at the last minute is a must when it comes to relying on the weather in our coastal town. Learning new creative workouts that are enjoyable in all possible conditions is a must to make the season a successful one.”

To recap the season’s placement accomplishments: Aly took 10th in JV at the Kenai Golf Course Skate Race, and Oliver placed 3rd in JV at Regions. Trevor attended State, obtaining 71st in the 7.5K skate and 79th in the 10K classic (It should be noted that at the very start of the classic race his ski broke and he fixed it, which set him back at least a minute). Aly also participated in State, taking 68th in the Skate 5K and 80th in the Classic 7.5K. In addition to these individual achievements, the ski team won the costume contest at the Homer meet as Pac-Man characters (costumes crafted by the Seward High Sewing Club).

Although the season had some bumps, including a ski breaking during two races, the season finished out well. The general consensus across the team post-season is that skate skiing is better than classic, as it is “much faster,” as all five can be quoted saying. None of these skiers are seniors, so we hope to see great things from them next year!

The team as a whole would like to thank all the volunteers that helped with transportation, fundraisers, and grooming trails.