2010-11 Winter Preview: PWER hits the slopesIn its first year as a three-team alpine skiing program, Park, Woodbury and East Ridge — PWER - took to the slopes together and posted some impressive results — both by individuals and teams. This season, PWER is looking to build on that foundation.
By: Patrick Johnson, Staff Writer, South Washington County Bulletin
Last year, the Park, Woodbury and East Ridge — PWER — alpine ski teams practiced together, competed in identical races and were administrated by the same staff, but raced as individual high schools. In its first year as a three-team program, PWER took to the slopes together and posted some impressive results — both by individuals and teams.
This season, PWER is looking to build on that foundation.
East Ridge alpine skier Elizabeth Koprucki highlighted the 2009-10 alpine season for the PWER ski program. Koprucki, now a sophomore, finished in 14th place out of 88 skiers at the state ski meet at Giant’s Ridge in Biwabik, becoming the first Raptors’ alpine skier to qualify for state. PWER head coach Kevin Seipel, now in his second year leading the program, said Koprucki could be a four-time state participant and possible state champion down the road. In all, three skiers from the PWER took part in the state meet: Koprucki and Woodbury senior captains Lizzy Stefely and Brady Johnson. Stefely ended high school skiing career with a 35th-place finish at state and Johnson made his final prep skiing appearance finishing 60th on the state hill.
As a whole, the East Ridge girls also won the vaunted Welch Invitational and finished third in the Suburban East Conference, but weren’t able to finish in the top two places at the section meet and qualify for state as a team, which was one of the few disappointments for the program on the year.
Additionally, the Woodbury boys ski team took third in the SEC and the Royals girls finished in seventh place. The East Ridge boys also took seventh place while the Park boys took eighth place and the Wolfpack girls were ninth place.
This year, the East Ridge girls will be captained by Meghan Tomai and Jessica Schrimp and the boys captain is Drew Del Toro. The Park boys team captain is Kyle Evans and the girls captain is Kaitlyn Cornwell. The Woodbury boys will be led by captain Karl Lund and the Royals girls team captain is Brittany Roth.
This season, PWER will need to replace Johnson and Steffely from Woodbury and Park’s Josh Kellner and Ashley Chelmo.
PWER has five conference meets this year, beginning on Tuesday, Dec. 14, at Wild Mountain.