Dist. 279 Alpine ski team gears up for season

With many of the top skiers returning, the Osseo/Maple Grove/Park Center Alpine ski teams are looking forward to a successful fifth season.

Head Coach Ken McAdam is joined by co-head coach Michele Monroe and the two have put together a training program that builds and strengthens the athletes’ alpine skiing skills so athletes at all abilities grow and improve in their racing skills.

Jared Wangen is a senior co-captain on the OMGPC boys' Alpine ski team.
Jared Wangen is a senior co-captain on the OMGPC boys’ Alpine ski team.

In addition, they encourage all of their athletes to set personal goals and work with them to reach those goals through positive work, perseverance and dedication.

McAdam is expecting a good season because the team has many returning athletes. Jared Wangen is a senior at Maple Grove Senior High and has been racing since he was 6. He has been on the high school alpine ski team since its inception in 2009. He and Matt Miner, also a senior at Maple Grove Senior High, are co-captains of the boys’ team.

Also returning on the boys team are Jared Anderson (junior at MGSH), Jack Barr (sophomore at MGSH), Anders Burdick-Levang (sophomore at OSH), Michael Isakson (sophomore at OSH), Justin Kobberdahl (junior at MGSH), Nathan Sanocki (sophomore at MGSH), Peter Schmitz (junior at MGSH).

New to the team is Connor Koch, a seventh grader at MGJH who practiced with the team last year and foreran at all conference meets.

Mackenzie Koch is a co-captain and top skier on the OMGPC girls' alpine ski team.
Mackenzie Koch is a co-captain and top skier on the OMGPC girls’ alpine ski team.

The top-returning skier on the girls’ team is Mackenzie Koch, a junior at Maple Grove Senior High who has been racing since she was 5.  She placed fifth in the conference last year and qualified for the state tournament at Giant’s Ridge in Biwabik. She and senior co-captain Jenna Rynnanen (home school) are looking forward to leading the girls’ team to state this year.

Other returning skiers are twins, Emma and Elizabeth Wangen, ninth graders at Maple Grove Junior High. Joining the girls’ team this year are Emily Barr (eighth grader at MGJH) and Kenzie Burdick-Levang (seventh grader at OJH).

OMGPC had a successful fourth season in 2012 and McAdam looks forward to another strong season from his squads.

“We are stronger and deeper at all levels for 2013,” he said. “We enter this season with expectations of finishing in the top 30 percent of the conference as a team. Individually I expect that we will have three boys (Jared Wangen, Jack Barr and Connor Koch) and one girl (Mackenzie Koch) qualify for all-conference honors.”