Durango High School Alpine Ski Team season is wrapping up after six weeks of racing all over the state of Colorado. Three members of the team, Maddie Jo Robbins, Lucas Robbins, and Annalise Gates even managed to qualify for state competition on February 23rd and 24th. There are two types of racing included in alpine ski racing: Giant Slalom (GS), which has very wide turns, and Slalom (SL), which has tighter turns.
DHS has not had an alpine ski team for over 20 years, but this year the team has seven members:Fr. Miles Bronson, Fr. Austin Swan, Sr. Lucas Robbins, Fr. Maddie Jo Robbins, So. Annalise Gates, Fr. Claudia Luthy, Jr. Alex Fleitsand three of them are state qualifiers.
“Ever since I moved to Durango, I wanted to have a high school team. I skied on my high school team for years in New Hampshire and it was one of the highlights of my ski racing career,” said Leah Mason, the head coach of the DHS Ski Team.
In its debut year, the new team has gained lots of interest due to Durango’s love of skiing.
“I train Tuesdays and Thursdays at Purgatory from 8-12 and weekends from 9-3, as well as some nights at Chapman Hill. During a normal training session we set up courses and try to run them at race intensity while working on specific techniques,” said Maddie Jo Robbins, a member of both the Purgatory club team and DHS competitive ski team.
Robbins said that during the offseason, she competitively mountain bike races, cross country runs, as well as does crossfit training. The main goal of ski racing is to get through the course as fast as possible. The best way to do this is to ski on your edges. Robbins says that in order to have success in ski racing, one must put in hard work, have determination, as well as have a personal sense of enjoyment for the sport.
“My ski season at DHS has been pretty good. It has been pretty good to get more race starts in, in a new and different environment,” said Robbins.
Robbins has started in two races for each event and placed in the top third in at least one of them in both slalom and GS, which is why she has qualified for state competition in late February.
“My season was the best,” said Bronson when asked about how he felt about his first season on the DHS Ski Team.
The team has everything ranging from beginners to advanced veteran ski racers. Bronson said that the atmosphere on the team is very happy and uplifting.
“I have been ski racing for ten years, since I was five years old,” said Robbins.
Robbins said that the DHS team has been super fun because of the unique environment and that just getting races in is fun. Robbins hopes the Durango High School Ski Team will continue to have success and thrive.