Alpine ski teams small but talented and ready to compete with rivals
Despite placing in the top five in many of their races, the Alpine ski team is still one of the most overlooked teams at ARHS.
But after completing a month of conditioning before the season began, the team was ready for competition.
Alpine skiing is a racing sport comprised of several events. The ARHS team competes in slalom, in which skiers must navigate between gates, and giant slalom, a faster version with sparser gate placement.
When competing, alpine skiers need to use specialized equipment. They wear skin-tight racing suits to reduce air resistance, and use different skis with precise specifications for each event.
For example, giant slalom skis are longer, and have less shaping to accommodate for wider turns.
“Last season, we came in fourth place in several of our races. We are hoping to do better this year,” said Peter Hudlicka, captain of the boys’ team. Still, he said they “need more people.”
There are only five high schoolers on the team: Hudlicka, Patrick O’Connell, Lucas Chaplain-Koski, Andreas Gilpin-Falk, and Alexa Kosanovic.
The ARHS girls’ team has an intense rivalry with Mohawk High School.
For most of the 2013-2014 season, the girls’ team was in first place, and only fell behind Mohawk High School the last few races. Ultimately, Mohawk took the division title.
The 2014-2015 season competition was fierce, with Amherst and Mohawk trading places. The 2015-2016 season has only just begun.
“We think we can take the division title this year,” said Kyra la Cour, captain of the ARHS girls’ team. She said she’s more confident this year.
The girls’ team is also small, with only six high schoolers: la Cour, Margaret O’Connell, Kelly Klimczyk, Makayla Klimczyk, Elizabeth Wear, and Alexia Dassatti.
Despite their small size, both teams place well. While smaller teams are not disadvantaged, it is always beneficial to have a greater number of excellent skiers.
Alpine skiing is very exciting, and is a great choice for those looking for an exhilarating experience and intense competition.
The team usually competes weekly at Berkshire East, in Charlemont, MA.