Alpine ski team places fourth at European ski races

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The ZIS skiing team was back on the slopes on the 27th of January for a three day competition. The team of 30 middle and high school athletes travelled to Wengen to ski the legendary Lauberhorn slope, competing against 6 other schools.

The athletes had to endure a slalom on the first day. As slalom is our biggest weakness, the low number of podiums on this day did not affect the team spirit or drive to do well. One third of our athletes pushed themselves over their limit to the point where they disqualified falling, such as M. O’Reilley (’21), S. Terryn (’21), Von Steuben Gans (’21),  Tang Peronard (’20), Simon (’17), Gray (’17), Gray (’19), Rogers (’19), Fischer (’17), and Gailey (’19). ZIS best result of the day was achieved by Katie Gray (’21) in second place followed by Caroline Terryn (’21) in fourth place. Other athletes that scored points were Emilia Ketterer (’22) and Carina Mile (’19) both in seventh places.

On Friday evening, all schools took part in a night parallel slalom, whereby every school could only set 12 athletes. These athletes were mixed and matched to make 16 teams of 5 with athletes from various schools. The parallel slalom was a highlight of the event because the winning team (going through qualifications, quarter finals, semi-finals, and finals) contained two ZIS racers! Katie Gray (’21) and Sara Fischer (’17) were teamed up with two male Munich racers and one male Luxembourg racer. With strategic planning of the athlete order to race in (all athletes from one team started on the same course: as soon as the previous athlete was finished, the next could go) the team was reliant on the female ZIS racers to win. All other ZIS racers cheered for them showing heaps of team spirit.

On Saturday the athletes got to start the Giant slalom out of the Lauberhorn racing hut. Giant slalom is definitely a stronger suit for most racers, which was demonstrated in the results. A fantastic victory was achieved by Caroline Terryn (’21), where Emilia Ketterer (’22), Daisy Wright (’22), and Maya Nathan (’21) also placed 6th, 7th, and 9th in the same category. Carina Mile (’20) and Gregor Gray (’19) came sixth in their respective categories. Cameron Gray (’17) placed fifth in his category. A few racers had quite spectacular falls giving it all, risking just a bit too much. Katie Gray (’21) was in second position after the first run, and fell halfway through her course having been the most aggressive athlete up to then, clearly envisioning victory. Sara Fischer (’17) was first in her category before crashing in the third last gate of the second run with a clear 3 second lead.

On day 3, the ZIS athletes prepared for an exciting super G. Both the weather and the results were great again, with Caroline Terryn (’21) and Katie Gray (’21) winning first and second places! Lawrence Von Steuben-Gans (’21) placed 5th and Gregor Gray (’19) placed 6th (with a fall, and losing a pole: he was going for victory) in their category. Sara Fischer (’17), experiencing a knee injury consisting of torn ligaments, muscles, and meniscus from the previous day, came a surprising second losing only 6/100 of a second to first place. Of course it wouldn’t be the aggressive skiing ZIS is known for without some falls… Victims included James Rogers (’19) and Cameron Gray (’17). Cameron was on the way to top five before he fell near the end, carrying away an arm injury and strong headaches.

Overall, Caroline Terryn (’21) won the overall junior girls competition! ZIS came in fourth place as a school as a whole. Congrats to all athletes, and a speedy recovery to the injured ones! ZIS middle school will be back on the sloped in Gstaad on Thursday, while the upper school will need to wait it out until Saturday.

Written by Sara Fischer (’17)

Photos by Coach Haken

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