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In this year's winning New Year's card design contest, the artwork of Sheryl Chen '26 reminds Pingrians of the importance of unity and community.

Big Blue Beat: Varsity Ski Racing

By Dean Koenig '21

Head Coach: Jim Backman

Highlights from last season: Last year, one of the team's main goals was for the boys to qualify (as a team) for the State Championships, according to team captain Rosemary Collins '21. This goal was met as both the boys' and girls' teams competed in States (it was the second consecutive year for the girls). Both teams also finished second in the conference. And five skiers—Rosemary, Annie Leithead '19, Matt Dispenza '20, Peter McClearn '20, and Tobey Jay '22—all qualified for the Race of Champions. Captains Rosemary, Matt, and Annie went on to  qualify for the Eastern Regional High School Championships and raced for Team New Jersey. 

What to watch for this season:

  • Both the boys' and girls' teams look to qualify for States yet again and improve their placement in the tournament.

  • Seniors, including Peter and Matt, will fill the gap of graduated senior captains Rosemary and Brian Kaplan '19. These seniors played a pivotal role last year in qualifying for States.

  • Second-year Head Coach Backman hopes to coach as many skiers as he can to a spot on the state team while improving the skills of each skier in the different disciplines.

  • The team also aims to place more athletes in the Race of Champions and on the New Jersey team at Easterns.

  • The season kicks off on January 9 with their first race at Mountain Creek.

Full-court press:
"We will all work together as a team, helping each other improve as individuals, students, and athletes, which will in turn help the team improve."––Head Coach Backman

Andrea Dawson, Senior Writer,