Boys alpine captains and coaches show strong start to season

Senior+Karl+Gaertner+finishes+7th+in+the+section+seven+race.+He+will+be+racing+as+an+individual+and+with+the+team+at+Giants+Ridge+at+the+state+meet.
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Boys alpine captains and coaches show strong start to season

Senior Karl Gaertner finishes 7th in the section seven race. He will be racing as an individual and with the team at Giants Ridge at the state meet.

Senior Karl Gaertner finishes 7th in the section seven race. He will be racing as an individual and with the team at Giants Ridge at the state meet.

Photo submitted by Karin Gaertner

Senior Karl Gaertner finishes 7th in the section seven race. He will be racing as an individual and with the team at Giants Ridge at the state meet.

Photo submitted by Karin Gaertner

Photo submitted by Karin Gaertner

Senior Karl Gaertner finishes 7th in the section seven race. He will be racing as an individual and with the team at Giants Ridge at the state meet.

Marlee McGuire, Social Media Editor

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Undergates, delays, hairpins and flushes. Hot iron waxing, and a structured base grind. This is the jargon used by the Stillwater boys alpine ski team, one of the best in the state this year.

The Stillwater alpine ski team has a history of winning through the years, with numerous conference and section championships. Although always on the hunt for the win, the last time the boys alpine won the state meet was in 1981.

“The boys team is loaded with talent,” head coach Kevin Neubauer said. “The talent is exceptionally deep. We looked at the entire team and just thought about how are we going to make the lineup. Every guy in our top ten is a star performer, yet for sections and state, we can only take six.”

The boys won the section seven championship this year by an extreme margin. They have a strong team and are skiing confidently now and have a shot at winning the championship.

Winning however is as dicey as a gymnast finishing a balance beam routine without a fall. A typical slalom ski race involves two runs on a course of gates that gets reset for each run. The run is very technical requiring fine balance, fluid body movement while edging back and forth through 30 to 40 gates. Finishing two runs without a mistake is a challenge. Understanding the fasted line comes with experience.

 “Putting two runs together is hard if you want to have the best run possible,” senior Parker Smith said. “Giving 110 percent can create a lot of mistakes in your run and can add up towards your overall time, but if you want to win it all, you have to give everything.”

The boys team is loaded with talent.”

— Kevin Neubauer

Stillwater boasts one of the longest running alpine ski programs in the state, dating back to the early 1970’s.

“The program is growing for sure. Five years ago when I began working with this team, we had approximately 45 athletes. Today that number is knocking on 70. Overall, the sport is strong and thriving, not just at Stillwater Area High School, but also at many other schools across the state,” Neubauer said.

This year’s state championship team includes seniors Parker Smith and Karl Gaertner. Juniors Ethan Barclay and Austin Paseka, and sophomores Adam Gaertner, Hunter Neubauer.

“At practices and events we are all one big family,” senior Hunter Kahn said. “We are able to joke around in moments, but we all have  the same goal and focus in mind.”

“Overall, they have the mindset to win a state title this year. It is one of the strongest teams we have sent to state in the last 15 years,” Neubauer said.

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