The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Marc Swanson
Seahawk Ski Coach 

Seahawks skiers shine at Colony meet

Kromrey shreds, Zweifel impresses, near miss for Swanson


Seahawk Nordic Ski Team

Among a field of 108 competitors, Seahawks team member Brook Estes skis toward her combined junior varsity scoring at 11th place. She was trailed closely by fellow JV Seahawk Laura Dyer who placed 13th overall.

If one was lucky enough to be at Government Peak Nordic Ski area near Palmer this weekend they would have been treated to brisk temperatures, stunning dawns, and Lindsey Kromrey making personal history. New to the varsity field, Kromrey first posted a 22nd finish in the Friday skate race, a very respectable finish considering the field. Then, with sheer determination on the Saturday classic, Kromrey skied her way onto the podium with a tenth place — 18 minutes and 43 seconds finish. This resulted in a combined time to put her in 13th position for the weekend of races.

Considering that a year-and-a-half prior Kromrey was a recreational skier with no competitive experience, this is huge. One might attribute her success to the insight, expertise and mentorship of her coach. But as the other skiers might point out, “Naw, that’s not it… Definitely not.” Reality is, Lindsey accomplished this through personal commitment to the sport and pure tenacity and constant refinement of technique.

But Lindsey was not alone: The Seahawks turned heads this week.

Miles Knotek, the backbone of the Seahawk team, finished 32nd in an extremely competitive varsity field. Miles has been skiing at the junior varsity level; now it’s time to ramp it up and he did. A special nod needs to be sent to Dylan Gillespie who has been struggling with times and flu since the holidays. In the Saturday classic race, Gillespie made it his own by outskiing 31 junior varsity skiers to post a 15th place finish with 29:25. It wasn’t pretty — not even close. In fact, rumor has it that Gillespie has invented an entirely new technique of classic skiing. But what it may have lacked in efficiency, Dylan made up for in absolute determination to achieve at least one goal — to make teammate Swanson eat snowy dust. Mission accomplished.

However Jerry Swanson and Nick Zweifel did have incredible races. Zweifel found himself on the junior varsity podium for both races at tenth place. This is relatively new territory for Nick. He’s finding himself skiing in times with the big guns. He’s discovered that those bulky wrestling pecs can really scoot the skis. Of all the Seahawks Nick can power up the hills with incredible speed and agility.

But Swanson was on his heels in the skate race. Only eight seconds separated the two. A still audible groan can be heard from Jerry as he started to take the second loop cutoff one loop too early costing him... Oh, about eight seconds. Dang.

Brooke Estes and Laura Dyer also posted respectable finishes, each keeping within the top 20 of the field of 108 junior varsity skiers. Not only did they ski in the top level of skiers, but did so in both races. Because of this the combined JV scores for Estes and Dyer were respectively 11th and 13th. Incredible. Alice Pfeiffenberger also had a fine race though nursing a nasty cold, pulling in times of 23:59 in the skate and 27:49 in the classic race.

Seahawk Nordic Ski Team

No. 319, Lindsey Kromrey, skates to a Classic finish taking a bow at the podium for 10th place during the Saturday varsity competition. Kromrey placed 13th overall for the weekend competition.

But alas, no story can be completed without giving a full update of our Rico, the foreign exchange student from Germany. This kid is no slouch for athletics, however, that said he spent his first 90 seconds of his ski career back in November falling approximately 279 times (we lost track). However, Rico has become by far the most improved skier on the team. His skate skiing technique is his forte and it showed through on this race. Rico, our German star, posted a very respectable 44th place (well within the field of skiers). If there was any way of providing him political asylum to keep him another year, there is no doubt Rico would be skiing near the top of the list.

So, there you have it — your Seahawk ski team. Lucky for you this weekend you get to see these guys in action. The Seward Invite will be hosted at noon Saturday at the Divide ski area at Mile 12. The Divide is known as the toughest course in the region filled with loads of uphills and twisting downhill. It is not for the faint hearted. Come cheer on the team. It’s really great fun!


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