Despite lack of snow to practice on, ski team member finishes at stateAlthough this season was marked by a lack of snow to compete and practice on, area schools were able to compete at the Section 7 State Qualifying Nordic Ski Meet.
Although this season was marked by a lack of snow to compete and practice on, area schools were able to compete at the Section 7 State Qualifying Nordic Ski Meet.
The Two Harbors High School Nordic ski girls’ varsity team placed fifth overall of the ten varsity girls’ teams that participated. Junior Kiersten Haaversen placed 11th, while eighth-grader Marina Schreiner placed 25th and juniors Savannah Juenemann and Sara Schield placed 31st and 33nd. Sophomores Owen Cruikshank and Drew Christensen placed 28th and 37th for the Two Harbors boys.
Haaversen’s 11th place finish enabled her to be the only Two Harbors student to attend the state meet. THHS Nordic ski coach Rachel Howard said Haaversen has a lot of natural talent and listens well to constructive critique. Haaversen has skied under the coaching of Howard and another coach, Sara Bryns, since seventh grade. “You can tell her something and she picks it right up. She works hard on her technique,” Howard said.
Haaversen placed 65th among the 120 girls who competed at the state meet. Haaversen said it was amazing to be in that kind of competition and that she tries not to think about placing but instead about doing the best race she can. “I was thrilled and so happy after the race,” she said.
So were her coaches. Howard said that both co-head coach Bryns and assistant coach Sarah Haavisto cried a little. “I felt very, very proud,” Howard said.
Haaversen has been to state before as sophomore. Last year she placed 93rd. This year along with her family and coaches, four of her teammates—Sara Schield, Owen Cruikshank, Drew Christiansen, and Dan O’Neil—came to cheer her along. Haaversen said that since her race, people have been coming up to her and expressing their interest or congratulations. “It’s great to have the support of the community,” she said.
Haaversen said she plans to ski again next year and hopes to return to state. She also hopes the weather conditions will improve next year so she can practice her ski technique more. “It was really difficult to practice,” she said.
Howard echoes these sentiments, saying that the lack of snow prevents students starting out in the sport to really experience it. “It’d be like the hockey team playing hockey games without ice,” she said.
But Howard commends her team for their perseverance. “They were very resilient this year and despite not being able to ski except for racing, they had great attitudes and made the best of a horrendous lack of snow,” she said.