(VHS Ski Coach Pete Toye 2-15-16) – The Valdez ski team ventured to Palmer this past weekend to compete in the annual Borough Championships, this time with a unique twist. Instead of the traditional individual races of the past, this event featured two person relay teams and provided a very fast paced, exciting competition for all—as well as an excellent interval workout! Varsity teams members each raced three 1.3K legs; JV teams each raced two legs. Teams from Wasilla, Palmer, Colony, and Su-Valley joined for the fun.
Top overall finishers for the Bucs was the lone varsity girls team of juniors Rylee Norris and Taylor Huston who combined for an exciting photo finish earning 4th place, a mere .4 seconds out of 3rd place in the field of 7. One of the Buc highlights of the day was Rylee’s performances in her relay legs finishing with the 3rd fastest time of all first legs and the fastest time overall in both her second and third legs. A great accomplishment given the outstanding competition and icy home course of the other teams. The girls JV team of senior Josie McNelly and junior Angie Alfaro finished a respectable 7th out of 14 teams. McNelly provided another great highlight finishing with the 2nd fastest time overall skiers in their second leg.
The one boys varsity entry of senior Stuart Relay and sophomore Ben Swanson finished 4th out of five very fast teams. Both boys skied hard and turned in some very positive leg times. The Bucs had two teams in the 12 team JV race. The team of junior Chris Cummins and freshman Isaiah Amberg finished 8th and the team of juniors Colton Prevost and James Hancock finished 48 seconds behind, securing 9th place.
It was a very positive training experience for the team in preparation for the final two big races of the season, regions and state. The fact that many skiers got faster as the races progressed is a very good sign that we are where we need to be relative to conditioning. Some that did not got caught up in the mass start pace frenzy but that was a valuable learning experience as well.