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Nordic Skiing teams looking ahead to new season

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Picture of senior captain Shad Kraftson's skis. Boys varsity head coach Torry Kraftson explains, "Nordic is definitely not an inexpensive sport. As time progresses, there are always new improvements to the equipment and we try to develop different techniques for different types of skiers."

The Nordic Skiing season is underway and due to their recent success in last year’s season,  high expectations have already been set for the girls and boys teams. With top finishes in the state tournament last year, it will be interesting to see what their mindset is entering the new season.

The boys Nordic Skiing team finished second as a team last year at the state tournament which was held at Giants Ridge. In addition, the girls Nordic team finished third as a team last year at State. With these excellent results, both teams have been ranked in the top five for the Nordic preseason rankings as the first races are about to begin. The boys team is preseason ranked as second in the state and the girls are ranked fourth in the state. The Ponies are certain that their skill will be present on the hills, but they will need to execute to perfection to reach their goal of winning state for both the boys and girls teams.

Practicing and training is crucial for any athletic team’s success, especially for Nordic Skiing. When there is no snow to train with, the skiers roller ski on the road in order to stay in shape for the season. In addition, the practices are rigorous, as the skiers are constantly in motion for about an hour and a half, which is very tough on skis. Not only do the skiers practice every day after school, but they usually have a heavy workout on the weekends during the preseason, so they are ready to go when races come.

The practices are really challenging with distance, strength, or other workouts, but they are also really fun because I’m good friends with the other skiers and that makes them something to look forward to every day.”

— Nolan Noer

Senior captain Nolan Noer commented on how tiring the practices are but how important they are for team building, “The practices are really challenging with distance, strength, or other workouts, but they are also really fun because I’m good friends with the other skiers and that makes them something to look forward to every day.”

Weather conditions for Nordic Skiing have great impacts on the team and especially during races. Minnesota did not have much snow at all until a couple of weeks ago, so the Nordic team was doing a lot of strength training and roller skiing to stay in shape physically and mentally for the season. However, with more snow, the team is able to finally get on the courses and ski, which obviously helps them get ready for their first races.

Also, weather can have an impact on race days, as there could be slushy snow at one course, or smooth snow at another, which affects race times and results. Being able to adapt to the weather conditions is an important part of being a Nordic skier.

Sophomore Anna Flor said, “Slushy snow and icy snow are the two biggest obstacles we racers face with weather conditions. It’s always important to know what the conditions are before the race, so that there are no surprises while racing, and you’re able to race differently with the different weather conditions.”

Expectations for both of these teams have been set extremely high, as they are atop to the state preseason rankings. Both of the teams have had players graduate since last season, but there are players who will have to step up in order to live up to those expectations. Most importantly, the team wants to be able to develop as a team, rather than attain individual awards and goals.

Carl Bohacek and Ben Wicklund

Boys varsity head coach Torry Kraftson said, “I try not to define the season with just a single goal, but I certainly have high expectations for this team. One of my biggest expectations is to see the team develop into their own character and develop as individuals; not just achieving athletic goals. However, we do have athletic goals and we were second in state last year, and we’d like to improve upon that.”

The teams have been practicing their hardest and cannot wait for the season to start as snow keeps falling.

Senior captain Noer explained how far the team the team can go, “I’d like to continue Stillwater’s dominant history as one of the top contenders for the state title in Nordic skiing. In addition, I’d like to be a good role model for our school and for our younger skiers on the team.”

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14 Comments

14 Responses to “Nordic Skiing teams looking ahead to new season”

  1. Ryan Shepard on January 17th, 2017 9:37 am

    I like how at the beginning you showed how they did last year and what new things are coming this year, including the loss of some seniors and the addition of many underclassmen. The interview with the coach was a great idea too.

    [Reply]

  2. Emma Clarkowski on January 17th, 2017 8:46 pm

    A very informative article, i liked the details on the practices. I thought that the way he described how certain weather conditions can affect the practices of the sport was very interesting. Also hearing about the successes of the different teams was very great!

    [Reply]

  3. Gideon Bimpey on January 18th, 2017 2:43 am

    The autor obviously did his research and knew what he was talking about. One thing I thought he could’ve done better on was his links. The links he used were very self-explanatory. He could’ve linked stuff that were harder to understand. Otherwise, outstanding article!

    [Reply]

  4. Hannah Drake on January 18th, 2017 8:55 am

    The nutgraph is very well constructed with lots of information about the previous season. Very well written talking about how they did last year and tying it into this years season. The last quote is good and shows that the team is expecting to do very well this y

    [Reply]

  5. Hailey Willius on January 18th, 2017 9:32 am

    The author was well collected in his writing style and the phrasing fit very well with the article.

    [Reply]

  6. Elise Luoma on January 31st, 2017 11:59 am

    This article is extremely informative and has strong quotes. It has a good lead and mentions pros and cons to what’s been happening this season.

    [Reply]

  7. Emma Salmi on February 7th, 2017 1:06 pm

    I think the article is very interesting and has a strong lead and nutgraph. I like how it provided the results of the previous seasons as background knowledge. I also like hearing what the skiers have to say about the season, and their expectations.

    [Reply]

  8. Sophie Begin on February 9th, 2017 11:59 am

    I thought the article was very informative and well written. I liked the recap of last season and a look at the upcoming changes for the new one. I thought the quotes were strong and flowed nicely with the fact paragraphs.

    [Reply]

  9. Noah Johnson on February 9th, 2017 8:22 pm

    I really like how the autor brought the history of the team then told what obstacles they will face throughout the season. Like that the author went above and beyond with four links, but three were put fairly close. In my opinion that’s poor spacing. Nonetheless, it was a great article on the Nordic team.

    [Reply]

  10. Mira LaNasa on February 9th, 2017 8:32 pm

    This is a good article. I appreciate the information about how they are preparing and what events the team will be looking forward to. Good way to keep readers informed about upcoming sporting opportunities.

    [Reply]

  11. Mason Urban on February 10th, 2017 12:59 am

    I like how you recapped the teams last season and gave a preview for this upcoming season. I also like how you explained how they prepare going into the season and what the team’s goals are.

    [Reply]

  12. Jack Reinseth on February 10th, 2017 7:45 am

    This is very well put together, well laid out, very easy to read. I liked how it had a recap of last season as well as this season.

    [Reply]

  13. Jesse Zelaya on February 10th, 2017 11:25 am

    Does a really great job of showing our season from last year and explaining how this season is going to be. Quotes are reliable since they are from both the coach and the students. There are also good points made, such as the teams struggles and how they’re handling them. I like how the article ends with a quote from the team captain.

    [Reply]

  14. Hannah Drake on February 13th, 2017 8:55 am

    I like how this article touches on both girls and boys nordic, writing about both of the teams current and previous seasons. Great knowledge of the previous season and records. Shows how the team is expecting to perform this year. Overall great article, very informative.

    [Reply]

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Nordic Skiing teams looking ahead to new season