The Portage Alpine Racing team has faced several obstacles this year regarding its 2021 season, though in uncertainty the team finished well in the Division 1 regional meet in the MHSAA. A handful of student athletes from both Portage Central and Portage Northern competed in conference meets at both Bittersweet and Timberridge. However with the team only being able to race in five conference meets per season, the early cancellations cut out vital races important for qualification in the state meet.
“We missed the first couple weeks of practice and our first race,” Junior Olivia Jensenius said. It was difficult then racing for the first time in what should have been midway through the season Jensenius noted.
Senior Liana Strader notes that there was a two week cancellation for all practices due to COVID-19.
“After our first practice we found out that a few people on the team were sick,” Strader said. “When we were able to practice again we did as much as possible so that we were ready for our first race.”
When the team was able to compete, they raced well. Strader notes that the girls varsity racers finished second overall in the conference, with the boys varsity finishing high as well.
“As an individual I feel like I performed really well,” Strader said. “I placed 12th out of the 40 girls in the conference.”
Strader notes that even while there were many restrictions on competing, the team still made the most out of the season while only being able to race at Bittersweet. “My most exciting memory would just have to be spending time with everyone at the races.”
Overall, this season revealed the racing team’s ability to compete under any circumstances. “I’ve skied on the team for all four years of high school and would definitely recommend it to others,” Strader said
“What the ski team has meant to me is that it has allowed me to connect with friends and teammates while doing something that I love,” Jensenius said. “My hope for next year is to have the girls team win the conference and make it to the state finals!”
PC: Max Eley