The Laramie High School Alpine Ski team competed at state last Thursday in Jackson, WY.

“We didn’t do very well as a team placewise,” said Jason Mitchel, the team’s head coach.

The girls finished as 5th in the state while the boys were placed at 6th. 

“Each skier had some good things happen and some bad things happen,” said Mitchel. “As a team, I was happy with all the skiers for at least one of their runs.” 

In other words, inconsistency was one of the causes of the Laramie Plainsmen defeat this season.

Also, the boys team competed without one of their top skiers, Ashton Ford, who had unfortunately received an injury before the state event. 

For those unaware, alpine skiing is a slalom downhill race to get around various gates as quickly as possible with each skier having a total of 2 runs. 

“We are moving in the right direction,” said Mitchel, “We are a lot better than the results.”

However, difficulties accessing the training slopes made team practices inconvenient in years past. 

The skiers could only practice on the actual slopes on Saturdays due to the long drive to get to the Snowy Range ski hill which is 45 miles away from LHS campus. 

During the school week, they would do “dry land” practices such as running and lifting weights, although, according to Mitchel, “It did not help us too much with the actual skiing.”

This year, the team began training at Happyjack which is only 15 minutes away. 

This allowed them to schedule team practice more frequently as well as increase their exposure to the slopes. 

“Every year I reassess things and try to build off of the previous year,” said Mitchel. 

As this season comes to a close, it has been made abundantly clear how primitive their equipment has been. 

Modern film study has revolutionized development in athletes, yet it remains out of reach for these LHS competitors. 

For instance, according to Mitchel, “Our camera is fifteen years old and is just completely out of date.” 

Through film, athletes can see exactly what they look like when performing so they can make proper adjustments to their movements. 

They can also slow down the captured movements as well as use side-by-side imagery to compare themselves to professional athletes. 

The ski team lacks sufficient resources in order to get the most out of their training sessions as well as perform to the best of their ability. 

According to Mitchel, they plan on fundraising to obtain the better equipment for next year. 

“We are building,” said Mitchel. “We are getting better and better every year.”