Girls Snowboarders Win State

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MTT News's picture
Michelle Phillips
Pictured L-R: Coach Jenny D’Orazio, Emelie Gehrke, Eden Larson, Megan Chandler, Han

LA CROSSE–The Middleton High School Girls Snowboard team came in first place at the Wisconsin Interscholastic Alpine Racing Association (WIARA) for the third year in a row on Feb. 16 at La Crosse. 

The 117 points the team accrued was enough for the win, with three girls placing in the top 10, including Emelie Gehrke who led the team in sixth place. Sophomores Ella O’Orazio and Eden Larsen came in seventh and 10th, respectively.

“At state, we had fast racers race even faster at state than they did during some conference races. The fact that the girls won all three–Giant Slalom, Boardercross and Slalom–events helped them secure the state title in blowout fashion. This is the most dominant girls snowboard team to ever come through Middleton. Last year it came down to the last racer in the last event. This year, not at all,” coach Darrin Kolka said of the event.

Kolka said the Madison Area COOP team helped push the girls at other competitions throughout the season. Their team placed second at state.

“Being the two-time returning state champs, all the other teams knew who we were, the talent on the team, and they all came gunning for us. Another local conference team, Madison Area COOP, helped push us during our conference meets, and this helped the girls stay focused at state,” he added.

Kolka said that is spite of losing seven seniors this year, he is optimistic that there will be some freshman talent next year. “This is nothing new, and we have had great success with talented incoming Freshman helping the team,” he said. “It’ll be sad losing the seniors this season. I’ve coached them during their entirety here at Middleton, and it’s a great group of girls. Megan Chandler and Hannah Laufenberg have been to state all 4 years of their high school racing career and really were the backbone of this program, helping recruit other girls onto the team. They will be missed.”

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