Seahawk skiers take on the state experience
2012 Seward Seahawk Nordic Ski Team, from left; Jacob Marshall, Nick Zweifel, Brooke Estes, Miles Knotek, Maggie Herbert, Lindsey Kromrey, Laura Dyer, coach Marc Swanson and Jerry Swanson.
Seahawk ski team raced in world-class conditions at the ASAA State Nordic Ski Competition Feb. 22-25 at Kinkaid Park in Anchorage. Lindsey Kromrey, Maggie Herbert, Laura Dyer and Brooke Estes represented the girls team while the boys state team was made up of Mile Knotek, Jacob Marshall. Jerry Swanson and Nick Zweifel. The temperatures were brisk, the snow fresh and the trails immaculately groomed.
As soon as the team entered the waxing bunker, the Seahawks got a whiff of what they were up against. Every team had a cadre of adult waxers waxing quivers of test skis. Not Seward. Of the more than 20 teams at competition, Seward skiers were evidently the only ones who wax their own set-up. Their mantra: It’s your ski. It’s your competition. Now just do it.
The first day’s race was a 5/7.5 kilometer skate ski. Temperatures were perfect in the 20s. Skis were working well. Seems like the Seahawks nail their races. Out of fields of over 110 skiers Kromrey pulls 79th, Herbert 93rd, Dyer 95th and Estes 96th. The boys had similar results. Knotek skated to 86th, Zweifel 97th, Swanson 105th and Marshall 107th. Some long faces showed some disappointment and then they compared their results against the same skiers at regions the week prior. Most of the skiers had out skied their field by up to an amazing two minutes. Yeah, they had a great race.
Colder. Temperatures were in the high teens. It was a classic day. The sun might have come out. Needed to figure a kick wax that would work for the day. Other teams had dozens of skis to hold for a variety of conditions. Seahawks had one set. The team needed to nail this one. Seahawk skiiers had something the other teams did not have — loads of parent volunteers. These guys are great. Boys are first on Day Two for a 10k classic up and down the hills; girls would get their exercise completing the 7.5k course. Wax seemed OK. Seemed to have good grip but glide seemed squeaky. Dang. Even still the Seahawks put their heart into it. Knotek pulled off 90th, Zweifel 101st, Swanson 102nd and Marshall played cleanup with 103rd. Kromrey pulled off 70 percent finish with 75th place, Herbert 99th, Dyer 101st and Estes 103rd.
The final day of competition was a four skier relay. Other teams (made of six) selected their cream for this race. The Seahawk cream had already risen to the top. It was going to be a humbling race. That said, for awhile the team had them in their sights. They were neck-to-neck with the top schools in the state. Then the gun went off. The Seahawks breathed quite a bit of snow dust that day. However, in the end each one said it was a blast.