It is officially winter. Thermometers read in the single digits, Styx has already been transformed into a brilliant white unicorn and the club alpine ski team is busy gearing up for its upcoming season.
Even though snow has only recently made its arrival to the Whitman campus, the ski team has been training since the beginning of the school year. Without the snow, the team has done a lot of general conditioning, according to captain junior Torey Anderson.
“We’ve been running a lot, doing stationary bike workouts, lifting and jumping” said Anderson.
Ski Bluewood, a ski resort outside of Dayton where the ski team trains, opened on Friday, Dec. 3–allowing the team to get some time on the snow before winter break.
The team usually travels to Bluewood on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons to get in a few hours of training. According to Anderson, the team uses gates left over from when the team was a varsity sport and set their own courses to practice on.
To have more time for the team to train on the slopes before competitions start, the skiers will come back a week before second semester starts and spend a lot of time on the snow.
Last year the team traveled to Maine to compete in the U.S. Collegiate Ski & Snowboard Association National Championships.
“We are definitely looking for that again,” said Anderson.
To help achieve this goal the team looks to a big addition of new skiers including seven first-years. This large group of skiers comes with very little recruitment on the part of the team, which is somewhat unexpected with the team’s recent switch to a club team as opposed to a varsity team. Instead the team was approached by the newcomers looking to join the team.
“We got e-mails from a bunch of interested freshmen,” said Anderson.
One such first-year, Mattie Hogg, came into Whitman feeling pretty confident that she wanted to join the team.
“I have always loved skiing and joining the team seemed like a no-brainer. I also love being a part of a team so I was excited to try it out in college,” said Hogg.
For Hogg, the ski team sparked her interest in Whitman despite its recent transition to club sport status.
“I didn’t come to Whitman solely for the ski team,” said Hogg. “But the reason it made my list in the first place was because I was looking for a school that would give me the opportunity to ski.”
The ski team first competes on January 16 and 17 when the team travels to Brundage Mountain Resort in Idaho.