Preview: Alpine skiing team loses 10, but gains 14
The Hastings boys and girls Alpine ski teams have their work cut out for themselves this year. The team lost 10 seniors to graduation from last year's team.
"The good news is that we have 14 new athletes joining our team this year," coach Jim Peine said.
There will be eight seventh-graders, three eighth-grades, two ninth-graders and one senior who will be new to the team this year.
While Hastings lost a lot to graduation, Hastings has built a strong program that has had a number of successes in recent years.
The Hastings boys finished third in the conference last year, and the girls were fifth.
Expect Stillwater to again lead the conference standings, but Hastings will be fighting to be there, too.
"This year, with our returning racers and with the great number of new racers, we are going to work very hard to move up that ladder to finish on top of the SEC," Peine said.
Senior captains are Adam Peine and Joe Wright.
Peine joined the team as a seventh-grader and lettered that year. He was an All-SEC pick as an eighth-grader, ninth-grader, sophomore and junior.
He should have a shot to qualify for the state tournament this season.
Wright joined the team as a freshman. He was All-SEC honorable mention and lettered that year.
"Joe is a hard worker and a good leader," coach Jim Peine said. "We are looking forward to a great year with him."
Junior captains are John Schmitz and Gabriella Sorg.
Schmitz joined the team as a seventh-grader and lettered by his freshman year.
"He is well-liked, and a good leader for his teammates," Peine said.
Sorg joined the team as a seventh-grader and lettered in her first year. She was All-SEC as an eighth-grader and has state-meet experience, finishing 53rd overall. She was All-SEC as a freshman and a sophomore, too, all the while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.
Seniors and returners
Seniors for the Raiders this year are Ursula Rumann, Danika Truax, Peine, Wright, Nate Strauss, Chris Erickson and Llse Vlaanderen, a foreign exchange student from Holland.
Also returning with varsity experience are a number of athletes for both the boys and the girls.
Sara Juelfs is a freshman. She finished 44th last season at sections and was an All-SEC pick.
Truax has been on the team since she was in seventh grade.
Ellie Peine returns for her freshman season. She was 66th at sections and was All-SEC.
Rosie Pechous, a freshman, returns this year after a year away from the team.
"Rosie is a great skier and we are looking forward to working with her again this year," Peine said.
Stephen O'Connor is a freshman who finished 56th last year at the section meet. He is a two-time All-SEC pick.
Will Caturia is a sophomore who had a strong season as a freshman. He finished 59th at sections and 31st at the Welch Village Invitational.