Nordic seizes the day

Girl’s team goes to state tournament for the first time in 16 years

8th+grader+Kaylee+Crump+skates+her+way+to+the+finish+at+the+state+meet+Feb.+17.+Crump+finished+in+102nd+place.

Maren Wilsey

8th grader Kaylee Crump skates her way to the finish at the state meet Feb. 17. Crump finished in 102nd place.

Park has some new awards to display on its shelves. After excelling in Sections last week, the girls’ nordic team qualified for the state tournament. The team finished the meet in fourth place and according to sophomore Addison Chenvert, reaping the rewards of their hard work was gratifying.

“We got fourth as a team, which is pretty impressive. We all had a bunch of fun, and we were excited that all the work we put in this year really paid off,” Chenvert said.

The team as a whole placed just behind St. Paul Highland Park, Duluth East and Forest Lake. Nordic coach Pat Hartman said that it was the team’s bond and motivational drive that led them to success.

“We have a really good group of kids. They’re really motivated and they want to do well. They’re really fierce competitors,” Hartman said. “(They have a) really good team bond and team spirit. They work well together and root for each other.”

Senior captain Victoria Schmelzle said it was meaningful to surpass teams she admires.

I wasn’t just racing for myself. I had to think about how I was racing for the rest of the team.”

— Addison Chenvert

“After the first day, we were tied with Stillwater,” Schmelzle said. “They were definitely somebody that we wanted to beat. They’re a good team and they’ve done really well in the past, so it was a big deal for us to beat them.”

According to junior captain Rachel Katzovitz, support from her team made her feel more relaxed during her races.

“It was really cool to have the whole team there. It felt like a family going,” Katzovitz said. “I felt less anxious about (racing), because all my teammates were there. Everyone had really good races and it was just a really great experience overall.”

Chenvert said her individual performance affected the team as a whole, which encouraged her to do her best.

“I wasn’t just racing for myself. I had to think about how I was racing for the rest of the team. If I did bad, it would affect the rest of the team, and if I did good, it would also affect the rest of the team,” Chenvert said. “It puts on pressure, but it’s also a good pressure.”

As the sole senior on the team, Schmelzle said that while she is sad to move on from the team, she is satisfied with her final race and confident in the team’s ability to succeed in the future.

“It was the last time I’ll ever get to ski with the high school girls … we skied for each other and that was really important,” Schmelze said. “I know the girls will do incredible next year. They’re just going to keep improving and keep getting stronger.”

Chenvert said she learned a lot from this season and hopes to use that knowledge to her advantage next year.

“I’m sad that the season is over, because after every race, I learn so much about what I can improve on,” Chenvert said. “I really hope that we get more people on the team (next year) … I also hope that we have as much success as we did this year.”