While the current pandemic seems like it is sliding out of control, the slopes are definitely ready for the ski season. Due to the highly anticipated season, the MSU Exponent had the opportunity to ask MSU men's alpine ski coach, Kevin Francis, a few questions regarding the team’s upcoming races. Francis was a member of the U.S. Ski Team from 2001-2009 and won the National Super G title in 2008.
In a typical season, the team would have their first on-snow camp in October or early November, with races starting in December and the NCAA race season beginning in January. However, this season is expecting a delayed start, and the first race as a team for MSU will be on Monday, Jan. 11 at the University of Denver Invitational. When asked about training, Francis explained the team has gone through,“an uninterpreted training block since we returned in August.” Francis also said that the team is in the weight room three times a week with another three sessions of field drills to work on agility and coordination.
Francis also stated his feelings toward this upcoming season. “I’m feeling good about our calendar and hopeful we can pull it off.” When asked where his worries lie, he said, “My concerns revolve around the student-athletes and all of our wellbeing.” Francis also added that it will be tough travelling as the times remain uncertain. These concerns come shortly after Gallatin county Board of Health held a meeting on Friday, Nov. 6 to discuss the health concerns of the county (se “Health Board enacts new business restrictions” on pg.6). Schools, however, are exempt from new restrictions implemented at that meeting, creating hope that the ski team and the student athletes can continue training for their upcoming season.
Francis also took the time to share one thing he wanted the MSU community to know about this season. “Our team might be in the best position of any college in the country.” Not only has the ski team had uninterrupted practice, but added time for training may also be a silver lining to the later start of this season. “We are excited to show what we can do this year, if we get the chance.” Francis and the rest of the ski team are prepared and ready to show off their skills.
A full schedule is available at https://msubobcats.com/sports/ski/schedule.