All Gas. No Brakes. AL PINE


Photo creds: Josie Weber & Kyra Martin

Amelia Klemme

Minnesota State Alpine has been a rollercoaster for most teams. Schools have won every race up until state, but end up walking away disappointed. Edina once won four state titles in five years, only to never come close in the next twenty years. Many teams have won championships with none of their athletes on the podium. Minnetonka’s skiing history is no less complicated, with numerous wins under their belt although, as of the 2022 season, the last individual medal was won in 2014. 

Coming off of a 2022 winning streak, with both boys and girls winning state, Minnetonka Alpine started off the season with high expectations. Luckily, from the first Varsity race in December to the last JV race in February, Minnetonka only lost once. 

As with most Minnetonka sports teams, Alpine has a lot of athletes, but most of its competitors have just as many. Rather than standing out due to their size, team captain Ashlyn Baker, ‘23, credits Minnetonka with being “the happiest team.” 

“Everyone seems genuinely happy to be at practice,” Baker says. “Even if you’re having a bad day going into practice, everyone leaves practice smiling and chatty.” Compared to other teams, she sees Minnetonka as more cohesive. 

After her first year racing, Lydia Stevenson, ‘26, agrees. “There’s a really great community of people in Alpine. The coaches are super helpful and it’s a great environment.” Despite pressure to repeat their 2022 sweep, the team keeps up with traditions to maintain cohesiveness. “We have this trash bag sledding tradition”, Baker recounts, remembering fun moments at an intense Lutsen ski camp earlier in the year. “It was like nine, ten pm, and we decided to grab trash bags and go out on the hill. A big tractor came by and a bunch of people ran into the woods. It was so fun, we just kept sledding down.” Beyond the camp, the team always makes time for get-togethers and post-race meals. 

Overall, athletes agree that the team has enjoyed themselves while working hard to improve. Tonka has huge expectations to live up to, but Stevenson says that no matter a skier’s skill level, the team is perfect for anyone. “It’s a great adrenaline rush and it really gives you the experience to get better at skiing. It’s my first year and I’ve learned so much.”

Baker ends with one last note: “Join Alpine!”