Four members of the Hastings boys' and girls' alpine ski teams competed in the state tournament Wednesday, Feb. 15, at Giants Ridge in Biwabik, Minn. Jacob Peine, Shannon O'Connor, Josie Pechous and Kayla Boogren, all juniors, each made two downhill runs and were placed by those two runs' combined time.
Peine took 31st (out of 89 racers) with runs of 40.83 and 41.94 seconds, for a combined time of one minute and 22.77 seconds. Shannon O'Connor was the top finisher of the three girls in 37th (out of 88 girls), with runs of 42.27 and 42.81 for a combined time of 1:25.08. Josie Pechous took 43rd with a final time of 1:26.06 (43.19 and 42.87) and Kayla Boogren finished 47th in 1:27.21 (43.43 and 43.78).
Head coach Jim Peine said that the dynamic of the state individual tournament was a little different for his racers than any other race they had this season.
"When kids go as individuals, they can go all out," Peine said. "They don't have to worry about putting together two good runs together for the team or be as cautious. Also, there's definitely a lot more competition at state when you bring all four sections together. The talent there is eye-opening and you can tell by the times and how close they are. Even one little slip can cost you."
Neither the boys' or girls' team have a racer who graduates this year, so Peine hopes that the experience of this year pays dividends next year.
"They (the four who made it to state) get to have the experience this year that they can bring back for next year," Peine said. "Hopefully that helps the teams get (to state) next year, especially since we sent three girls this year."