Alpine Ski Team: Discipline to Win

Jack Hintermeister, Staff Writer

Sam Kalina dashes through the gates as he competes for first place.


In the 2021-2022 Alpine Skiing season, the Mayo High School Ski Team had some top-performing skiers on the hill due to lots of determination and discipline. During the difficult times of the uncertainty of COVID-19, the team progressed as a whole to pull through and succeed. Another major reason for the advancement of the team involves the positive attitude along the way.

At the start of the season, the skiers begin their training at Mayo High School, doing exercises such as running to build endurance and strength. The focus on endurance and strength never stopped, however,  when they started to hit the hills because according to Captain Jake Vandal, “We had to climb up the entire hill for multiple practices. You may not have wanted to, but it made you a better skier; it made you a harder worker.” This hard work really did pay off; in fact, Vandal notes that, “the Girls got first at one of the big races.”

(L-R) John Mueller, Jake Vandal, Delaney Brummer, Parker Scott, Selina Chen, and Carly Earnest-Miller enjoy their time at practice.

Another thing that builds the motivation to practice racing is seeing some of the team’s top-performing skiers compete and really push themselves to be even better. Vandal says that it is important for the new team members to emulate the best skiers’ “commitment to racing. You see the kids that are pretty good racers, but they only practice when they’re with the team.” He stressed the importance of the commitment by adding that the best racers “do extra practice, give 100% every practice, focus on the fundamentals even when not at the hill, and give that extra bit more than just the average racer.”

Parker Scott starts off her race in a hurry through the gates.

The skiers practice every week during the season on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. They meet at Best Buy at around 4:30 after school and bus together up to Welch Village as a team, practicing for a few hours and typically getting back to Rochester at around 9:30 in the evening. Upon arrival at Welch at about 5:30, they start doing their stretches. One of the seniors on the team, Michael Shevlin explains that “stretching is one of the most important things [we] do before every practice and race. It warms up the muscles and gets you in the zone to stay narrowed in on perfection.” After stretching, the skiers are able to work with the Head Coach, Nick Sargent, with help from the Assistant Coaches to develop more precise individual skills.

Michael Shevlin, Soren Krych, Reece Grob, and Jake Vandal are excited for a run down the slopes.

Even though the standings don’t reflect it, the skiers developed fantastic bonds of friendship and teamwork. They worked on their skills, improving their mental and physical strength while having fun on the slopes. Through more time on the slopes and more competitions with advanced skiers, the team members showed signs of improvement; the top-performing skiers such as Shevlin, who got 4th on multiple races, set a great example of how to strive for excellence.

Because of this kind of inspiration, the team had great fun and intensified their motivation at the same time; as a result, the Ski team has great potential to be a top-competing team in the years to come.

Assistant Coach George Haun (center) is happy to help out Sam Kalina (left) and Michael Shevlin during practice.