With the launch of the 2022 winter athletics season, Boys Alpine Skiing has been racing down the mountain and up the ranks of the Central Massachusetts Ski League (CMSL). Thanks to a month of dryland conditioning and a rejuvenating winter break, the team has been more than ready to shred the slopes at Wachusett Mountain.
Practice revolves around a balance between conditioning and racing improvement. The team meets all throughout the week, excluding Monday and the weekend. Tuesdays and Thursdays are for dryland exercise; after some dynamic stretching, the team usually goes on a run around Concord. Following practice, some take the time to wax and tune their skis in the Operations Barn for better performance. However, the real practice happens on Wednesdays when the boys suit up and take the 40-minute bus ride to Wachusett Mountain, a local ski resort where the CMSL meets.
At Wachusett, racers ski through a course prepared by the resort. At the bottom of the course, Head Coach John McGarry P’22 ’23 waits to give skiers advice before they go for another run. Meanwhile, Coaches Peter Jennings P’19 ’21 ’25 and Alexa Holmes work to record racers’ runs so that they can review themselves later.
Following a pandemic-riddled season and the graduation of strong racers such as Sam Marquis ’21, Miles Berry ’21, Sam Remondi ’21, and Lucian Sharpe ’20, the team welcomed seven new racers this year. Co-Captain Tyler McGarry ’22 shared that, “I think we have a really strong group of new students this year.”
With almost all new racers being freshmen, the future of Boys Alpine Skiing appears to be in good hands. He added that having so many young racers is “great for the long term enthusiasm and strength of the team.”
This enthusiasm is nowhere better apparent than on race days, when the entire team suits up to compete against fellow schools in the CMSL. Racers participate in two races, held on side-by-side courses that are similar to the ones they are used to practicing in. At the end of their runs, they make sure to stay at the bottom to cheer on their fellow racers.
So far, the team has competed in three race days for six races in total. The first four were held in the Giant Slalom (GS) discipline, where the gates are more spread apart, and the recent two were held in the Slalom (SL) discipline, where the gates are placed in a more compact arrangement.
On the first race day of the season, Tyler placed second overall with a stunning 28.00 second time, a mere 0.06 seconds behind the first place time. Likewise, Gabe Wexler ‘25 placed ninth with an impressive 29.53 seconds. Not to mention, nearly all returning racers broke their personal records. Owing to a great first race, the team rocketed to the third position in the CMSL. However, Tyler was unable to attend the second race day, and it was up to Co-Captain Owen Nieuwenhuizen ’22 and the rest of the boys to achieve victory. The boys once again had fantastic runs; notably, Ben Bartlett ’24, Gabe, and myself placed within the top ten with times of 29.23, 28.77, and 28.74 seconds, respectively. On the third race day, despite icy conditions and the team’s unfamiliarity with the SL discipline, we once again managed to place three racers in the top ten. Compiling results from all six races, Boys Alpine Skiing currently holds the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 13th places in the CMSL mens’ division.
Remarkable results and fierce morale has put the team off to an amazing start. As the boys continue to compete, they also look forward to the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) championships. Tyler stated that he is “excited for the NEPSAC DII championships in a few weeks’ time and seeing how we do there.” Until then, Boys Alpine Skiing will continue to climb up the ranks, steadily learning from the sport and from each other.