Courtesy of VHS Ski Coach Pete Toye – Early morning temperatures in Talkeetna of -10F finally released their grip amid sunny skies and glowing Denali, allowing temperatures to soar to single digits and allow for legal racing conditions. The Alaska School Activity Association (ASAA) sets the legal racing temperature minimum at -4F. Sixty skiers from Colony, Palmer, Wasilla, Su-Valley, and Valdez raced a 6.5K slate race in the annual Borough Championships. The snow was cold, dry, and slow requiring a very strong physical effort, and our team answered the bell most impressively.
The Buc girls had an exceptional outing which featured senior stalwart Rylee Norris winning the girls championship by a most impressive one minute and twenty seconds over the field of 30. Rylee now joins her sister Hannah as winners of this annual competition. Senior Taylor Huston had the best race of her season finishing a very strong 6th. Senior Caitlin Connell continues her significant improvement with a 9th place finish. Senior Angie Alfaro had a solid ski netting her 11th place, just 10 seconds out of 10th. First year skiers sophomore Victoria Korenev (17th), freshman Grace Keller (24th), and sophomore Rowan Miller (28th) all had strong efforts and their futures are bright. The girls team finished in 2nd place overall behind Colony.
The Valdez boys were again led by junior Ben Swanson who had a most impressive 5th place finish in the field of 29. Swanson was only 1 second out of 4th and 8 seconds out of 3rd. First year senior skier John Banner was the next Buc finisher at 16th with a solid ski. Following Banner with their best efforts were senior Colton Prevost (24th), senior Chris Cummins (27th), and junior Josten Carlson (28th).
The ski team next sees action this weekend at the Region III Championships held this year at Government Peak in Hatcher Pass.