Two Times and Charmed
One undefeated season is impressive, but the fact of two in a row strains the limits of credulity. Yet that's exactly what the Berkshire boys' ski team just did, by capturing the Carl Williams Memorial Slalom Championship on Wednesday, February 22, and thus also the Berkshire Ski League Cup, for the second year straight. In fact, the boys have won every race of the last two seasons. And, in the first year of its existence, the Berkshire girls' ski team finished sixth in the race for the cup, ahead of both other girls' teams, Miss Porter's and Ethel Walker, as well as three other co-ed and all-boy schools' teams. In all, it was a very satisfying finish to a wonderful season.
Wednesday's final SL race at Sundown was a dramatic one. Facing what were essentially spring skiing conditions, with loose, heavy snow heaped up over ice, five of eight boys fell or 'hiked' on at least one of the two runs; even co-captains VI-former Bray Wilcock and V-former Jackson Borwick, despite posting strong, aggressive finishes in one run each, felt the challenge; Bray took 6th and Jackson took 7th. But these boys are truly a team, and even though in the field of 85 skiers the other skiers in the group--including V-former David Watkins (67th), V-former David Eagan (34th) , IV-former George Frick (20th), IV-former Troy Bernier (31st) , and III-former Bryce Schuler (15th)--all also struggled with the course, in the end the boys were victorious. Most notable was the performance of V-former Nate MacKenzie, who finished in third place overall and thus took the bronze medal for the SL race.
The girls also skied well. Reliable IV-former Julia Slyer mastered both runs, finishing in 18th overall, effervescent Krissy Goversten took an admirable 21st, quiet-but-intense Swetha Kodali took 33rd, IV-former Emily Hubbard took 36th, IV-former Eloise Morrow took 49th, and newcomer Bryn Kenny took 74th. This up-and-coming team captured the attention of all at the race with its series of impressive finishes.
The coaches have many people to thank for this year's triumphant season. First, we extend our heartfelt congratulations and gratitude to all of our racers, who have skied hard, taken direction well, managed the considerable logistics of getting themselves (and all our gear) to the mountain each day, arrived early and stayed late for many practices, and supported each other through the individual ups and downs that are inevitable in this physically and emotionally demanding sport. Next, we raise our poles to the parents, who have driven many miles on many occasions only to stand at the bottom of the mountain for mere seconds of spectating (as their children whizzed by), and who have laid out delicious feasts of sandwiches, wings, donuts, fruit, and chips in the lodges after the races. We thank the students and faculty of Berkshire School, who have cheered our victories in Monday morning assemblies, and we are also very grateful for the enthusiasm for Berkshire skiing expressed by the school administration and alumni. We also wish to thank the other skiers and coaches in the Berkshire Ski League, who have provided us not only tough competition but also collegiality, collaboration, and friendship.
Finally, the coaches wish to salute senior captain Bray Wilcock, who has been part of this program throughout his Berkshire School career, even before the team was as successful as it is today. Bray has been captain for two years, and in that time he has invariably been the consummate team player, not only providing a good model of athletic excellence, spirit and dedication for younger skiers to follow but also recognizing with grace that team success is about more than individual performance. He has been a completely dependable leader, and while we coaches wonder how exciting he'll find the skiing at Annapolis next year, we know that he will lead exceptionally wherever he serves, including at the United States Naval Academy. He will continue to be admired even as he is missed.
The 2012 Berkshire School ski season has drawn to a close. Once again thanks to all, and see you on the slopes again in January 2013!