Skiing: Maggie Humphrey
Many sports typically take place on a field or in a gym, making them year-round sports. However, freeride skiing can just take place on the mountains, where snow only falls during the winter and early spring.
During this time of year, sophomore Maggie Humphrey practices to compete in Big Mountain ski competitions at Kirkwood Mountain Resort. In competitions, skiers ski on double blacks, which are difficult and steep slopes with natural challenges, such as harsh winds and narrow paths.
Humphrey skis in the category that matches her age and skill. To win, skiers must earn points, which are rewarded by judges who critique them on many categories.
“[Scorers] give you points on fluidity, how well you’re skiing [and] how good of a line choice it is,” she said. “So like, how much air you get, how many tricks you do.”
Although skiing involves individual competitions, Kirkwood Mountain Resort provides a freeride team where skiers of the same age group can interact with each other and form a sense of unity. The Kirkwood freeride team has age groups, such as 12 years and under and a 15 through 18 age group.
“I’m in the 15 to 18 [age group],” she said. “There are maybe 15 to 20 kids on the competitive team.”
Drawn to skiing by her father, Humphrey also competes on the water polo and swim teams at Aragon. Humphrey has grown to love skiing and cannot picture a future without it – she plans to ski competitively in college.
Throughout her 12 years of skiing, Humphrey has discovered many pros and cons of the sport.
“[What] I really like about [skiing] is how expressive you can be with it,” she said. “[It] feels great, like you have the wind in your hair [and] on your face and you get a bunch of adrenaline just going down basic runs. The big con, though, is how dangerous it is. I had, like, three friends out with knee injuries – it was really bad. I’ve gotten tendonitis a couple of times, but nothing major.”
Since the sport is controlled by the weather, ski practices and competitions aren’t as convenient as they are other sports.
“I ski every weekend during the winter,” she said, “from a weekend or two from thanksgiving to late April.”
Shooting: Austin Long
After moving from Kansas to California, freshman Austin Long is hoping to find a local shooting range so he can continue the sport.
“I plan to find a place in San Mateo to go shooting and would like to shoot competitively,” he said.
Before moving to California, Long spent many summers shooting in Idaho.
“I shot at the Sun Valley Gun Club in Idaho,” he said. “I typically shot for an hour, four to five days a week in the summer.”
Unlike in other types of shooting, Long shoots at makeshift targets which helps to improves his accuracy in case if he wants to hunt in the future.
“The shooting I do is sporting clays,” he said. “You stand in a station and aim your gun through a square out at the traps. They [then] launch the clay pigeons in the air. They’re small – typically [an] orange clay disc.”
Shooting has its own specific terminology used to notify when shooters are ready for the make shift pigeons to be released.
“You call the shot by saying something like ‘AB report,’ then you always end with ‘Pull,’” he said.
Long views shooting as similar to golf.
“It is very competitive when going in a group,” he said. “In a way, every shot is like a different hole, and you have to play. That target is moving [so] you have to [shoot] very quickly [and] change where you are placing that gun so you can always hit your target.”
Underwater Hockey: Kaitlyn Duong
When not playing volleyball or swimming, freshman Kaitlyn Duong spends one to two days a week playing underwater hockey.
“It is a very competitive sport,” she said. “Tryouts happen a long time into the future, so we haven’t had tryouts [yet], but right now it’s all about practice and stuff like that.”
Underwater hockey requires players to swim near the base of the pool and hold their breath for long periods of time. The purpose and rules of the game are essentially the same as regular hockey, but instead, the game is played underwater. The equipment required to play is a diving mask, a snorkel, fins, a water polo cap, a glove, a stick and a puck.
“There are two silver goals and they’re very short,” she said. “The pool is [about] eight feet deep, or a little bit more, and you have to stay at the bottom and you lay your chest on the ground almost. Everything’s lighter underwater so you have to use your stick and you push the puck around and the goal is to score into the other team’s goal.”
In the future, Duong hopes to play for the San Francisco Sea Lions underwater hockey team. Her competition for a spot on the team consists of a few cousins and people of the city.
“At the place where I swim in the city, I saw that they had an underwater hockey program,” she said, “and so I took an interest in it and from there I learned more about it.”
Sailing: Corey Quillen
Some have sailed a boat once or twice in their lives for fun, but sailing to test skill and speed is an entirely different story.
“This sport [has] a high level of intricacy,” said senior Corey Quillen. “This sport is not one you can pick up one weekend and expect to master.”
To Quillen, sailing is serious business. Although he does not sail on a specific team or in established competitions, Quillen refers to himself as an experienced sailor. He enjoys racing against his father, a few of his friends and his father’s crew.
“Sailing for me is a competitive sport because that is how I take part in its community,” he said. “There is, however, a huge community who use their boats for leisure. It just depends on what you are looking for.”
Throughout the summer, and occasionally during the winter, Quillen goes down to the Bay to sail.
“I sail on the Bay every other Friday night during the summer in a series with my dad and his friends,” he said. “I also compete with him in another series during the winter once a month on Saturdays.”
Though also a wakeboarder and wrestler, Quillen hopes to continue sailing in the future.
“I was influenced to sail by my dad who is very experienced,” Quillen said. “Oddly enough I hated sailing up until a few years ago while I now hope to pursue this sport in college.”