Seniors Westin Anderson and Natalie Gjermo were recently named the Most Valuable Athlete(s) for the Stillwater boys’ and girls’ alpine ski teams during their postseason awards banquet.
Anderson helped lead the Stillwater boys to Suburban East Conference and Section 7 titles before placing fourth at the state meet. The Ponies swept all four conference events and totaled 2,864 points to easily outdistance Forest Lake to win the SEC title for the ninth year in a row.
Matt Ludack, Zach Raven, Nick Skaret, Sam Skaret, Brent Barclay and Cory Carlsen joined Anderson in earning all-conference honors while teammates Kyle Szczepanski and Patrick Allan were honorable mention all-conference picks.
Sam Bissen was chosen the Most Improved Skier while Karl Gaertner, Hunter Kahn, Bailey Helke and Parker Smith each received an Up and Coming Award.
Ludack was this year’s recipient of the Len McGuire Award, which is named after the former coach who started the ski program at Stillwater in 1975. Anderson, Raven, Sam Skaret and Ludack also garnered the No. 1 Team Award.
Gjermo was the lone state qualifier for the Stillwater girls, who won their third straight SEC championship before placing eighth at the Section 7 Meet. The Ponies won all four conference events to finish with 2,753 points, well in front of second-place Mounds View (2,528).
Gjermo, who placed 39th at state, was an honorable mention all-conference selection along with Emily Donner. Rachel Amos, Story Schwantes, Ashley Ludack, Maddie Neubauer, Claire Weber and Maggie Raedeke each earned all-conference honors for the Ponies.
Ellie Messelt was honored with the Coaches Appreciation Award while Grace Donner, Neala Chevalier and Alydia Downs each took home an Up and Coming Award.
Margaret and Gene Ammerman attended the banquet and presented the Jane Ammerman Award to Rachel Amos for her dedication to the team and fun-loving spirit. This award has been presented since 1981 in honor of Jane Ammerman, a dedicated team member who passed away following an accident in Yellowstone Park.
Szczepanski, Kieran Downs, Carlsen, Schwantes and Ashley Ludack were named captains for the 2014-15 team.
Several student-athletes were also honored with an Outstanding Academic Achievement Award, which is reserved for those with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher. Those honorees included: Patrick Allan, Joe Weber, Charlie Skaret, Kieran Downs, Matt Ludack, Alex Huckels, Brian Tregilgas, Karl Gaertner, Hunter Kahn, Emmett Nickeson-Ranum, Parker Smith, Rachel Amos, Story Schwantes, Hanna Gaertner, Grace Donner, Ashley Ludack, Ellie Messelt, Claire Weber, Neala Chevalier, Cindy Prentice, Alydia Downs and Lydia Stannard.
Boys alpine skiing
All-Conference: Westin Anderson, Matt Ludack, Zach Raven, Nick Skaret, Sam Skaret, Brent Barclay and Cory Carlsen; All-Conference Honorable Mention: Kyle Szczepanski and Patrick Allan; All-State: Westin Anderson; State (team) qualifiers: Westin Anderson, Kyle Szczepanski, Sam Skaret, Cory Carlsen, Matt Ludack and Zach Raven; Most Improved Skier: Sam Bissen; Up and Coming Award: Karl Gaertner, Hunter Kahn, Bailey Helke and Parker Smith; Academic Award: Patrick Allan, Joe Weber, Charlie Skaret, Kieran Downs, Matt Ludack, Alex Huckels, Brian Tregilgas, Karl Gaertner, Hunter Kahn, Emmett Nickeson-Ranum and Parker Smith; No. 1 Team Award: Westin Anderson, Zach Raven, Sam Skaret and Matt Ludack; Len McGuire Award: Matt Ludack; Most Valuable Athlete: Westin Anderson; Captains elect: Kyle Szczepanski, Kieran Downs and Cory Carlsen.
Girls alpine skiing
All-Conference: Rachel Amos, Story Schwantes, Ashley Ludack, Maddie Neubauer, Claire Weber and Maggie Raedeke; All-Conference Honorable Mention: Natalie Gjermo and Emily Donner; State qualifier: Natalie Gjermo; Most Improved Skier: Emily Donner; Coaches Appreciation Award: Ellie Messelt; Up and Coming Award: Grace Donner, Neala Chevalier and Alydia Downs; Academic Award: Rachel Amos, Story Schwantes, Hanna Gaertner, Grace Donner, Ashley Ludack, Ellie Messelt, Claire Weber, Neala Chevalier, Cindy Prentice, Alydia Downs, Lydia Stannard, Maggie Raedeke, Katie Wallace and Ebbie Benson; Jane Ammerman Award: Rachel Amos; Most Valuable Athlete: Natalie Gjermo; Captains elect: Story Schwantes and Ashley Ludack.