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By Robert Rosen
Hometown Weekly Staff
The Wellesley alpine ski teams are in the hunt every year for a league title, and this year is no different. With a number of talented skiers returning from last year’s team, there’s no telling how far this team can go.
“Every year out Athletic Director, John Brown, asks ‘are we in line for another championship year,’” said coach Cory Tusler. “And the answer he always gets is ‘we will be in the mix and field skiers states. After that I don’t know.’ We have strong skiers on both sides.”
The captains of this year’s team are Sami Rubin and Sierra Goodhue for the girls and Axel Foresgren, Jack McKenna and Brian Baker for the boys. Tusler said there is also some great new talent in Brooke Baker, Matt McKenna and Jonah Tobin.
Tusler said that he went outside the box this year in the preseason with the way he trained the athletes on the team, but they are in excellent shape because of it. They did things such as run relay races, the spider drill and run stairs.
“This has been the best preseason I have ever had,” said Tusler. “The captains have been real leaders with a just do it attitude.”
The weather delayed the team from getting to actually race on the snow this year, but they have a lot of experience and success on their resumes. Individually, Rubin was undefeated in the league two years ago, when she took second in the Giant Slalom and third in the Slalom at states and won the overall Eastern U.S. High School Championship. She missed last season with a knee injury but is expected to pick up right where she left off.
Junior Nell Solomon was the league champion last year, and McKenna was top five in the league and had a strong showing at states.
The first race of the season was on Thursday, January 28 at Ski Ward, and the girls came away with a win. Rubin won the race, followed by Solomon and sophomore Kim Bishop. Goodhue also had a strong showing with a 12th place finish. The Raiders finished more than 75 points ahead of second place Dover-Sherborn.
“It’s been hard on the team training for two months without having the chance to compete,” said Tusler. “Rubin, Solomon and Bishop not only dominated the races, they were great leaders with the younger athletes.”
On the boys’ side, Wellesley came in fourth place. Foresgren came in sixth place, while Tobin finished in 14th overall.
“The boys field is very competitive this year,” said Tusler. “The Wellesley boys team had a strong opening that should continue to improve as the younger racers adapt to the high school format. Foresgren and Tobin had a great opening night.”
Robert Rosen is an Editor for Hometown Weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter at @roberterosen.