Dimond Ski Teams Return From State

Dimond’s cross country ski team recently competed at the stake skiing championships in Fairbanks. The ski team, coached by Nate Normandin, helped by assistant coaches Brett Roth, Richard Stout, and Shelly Hippe, competed in Regions last Saturday, where varsity teams competing at State were determined. The students competing at State were Marion Woods, Amelia Hennessy, Brittany Hippe, Sarah Freistone, Savanna Desatoff, Ashley Strauch, Alex Schumann, Erskine Frank, Trevor Clayton, Matt Falconer, Zach Brown and Bryce Monoco. The ski team is a lot bigger than it was last year. “This is the first year we had to take two buses,” says Senior and Co-Captain Ashley Strauch. “It makes it hard to find your stuff.” But a bigger team isn’t all bad. There are 65 kids on the roster that ski for Dimond this year, and the large numbers are a contributing factor to why Dimond is going so well this year. “We have talent ranging from just beginning to very elite” says Normandin. Last year was Normandin’s first year coaching skiing. “He was doing an excellent job,” says Strauch, “but people were trying to figure out how things work. And there was a lot of slacking off. But this year we’re doing a lot better.” The team has a large base in freshmen, but “they contribute well,” says Strauch. Last year at State, Dimond won both GPA awards for having the highest average GPA on both their girls and boys teams. Dimond didn’t take home the GPA awards this year, but they did very well. Freshman Marion Woods won the second day of classic racing, and she placed second overall as skimeister, which is an award that combines all times from all the races at state. Girls placed fifth overall, and boys placed fourteenth. And on the second day, girls placed fourth. “It was really exciting for the girls to beat West,” says Normandin. This was Strauch’s last race of her high school career. She skied on varsity for Dimond for the past four years. “I’m excited and sad,” says Strauch about State. “My last year of skiing was amazing. It was definitely the most fun year. I got to teach people how to ski and I got to really focus on learning new techniques.” Normandin is also happy with the season. “There were ups and downs. Some kids were injured,” says Normandin, “but overall it was a good season.”