Season’s 1st prep ski race dedicated to coach who died in avalanche

In a touching tribute to beloved former Service Excessive ski coach Randy Bergt, about forty former Service skiers made a shock look Saturday on the first highschool ski race of the season.

Earlier than the finals of the Service Snowball Dash at Kincaid Park, there was a ceremony for Bergt, who died Nov. 22 in an avalanche whereas snowboarding at Hatcher Cross.

In the course of the ceremony, Service assistant coach Peter Van Tyuen spoke concerning the numerous athletes Randy and his spouse, Tasha, impacted throughout their years teaching the Cougars and different junior skiers within the Nineteen Nineties.

“Why do not we see if they will nonetheless ski?” Van Tyuen stated into the microphone. “Come on down!”

On cue, the gong sounded on the prime of the dash hill and a wave of  skiers, many sporting previous Cougars jerseys, skied right down to the Kincaid stadium and into the ready arms of Tasha and different members of the Bergt household on the end line.

Bergt, 60, was a properly-recognized member of the Anchorage ski group. He helped construct the blue timing constructing at Kincaid and constructed champion skiers at Service. Randy’s Loop at Service is known as in his honor.

Amongst his and Tasha’s proteges have been Olympic biathletes Jeremy Teela and Rachel Steer in addition to Rob Whitney, who turned a nationwide-class skier whereas nonetheless in highschool.

“He had a love for snowboarding and handed that zeal on to everybody,” stated Whitney, a 1997 Service grad. “I feel lots of people from our highschool days nonetheless ski due to (him and Tasha).”

Chris Seaman, one other of the Bergts’ former skiers, stated Bergt poured the whole lot into his ardour for the game. He did not make a lot cash as a coach, however he did not thoughts driving a junky previous pickup, Seaman stated. One time, Bergt forgot to wax the group’s skis earlier than a race and Seaman remembered how badly Bergt felt for letting the group down.

“You might inform he put the whole lot into it,” Seaman stated. “Randy was like my hero in highschool.”

Saturday’s race marked the start of the three-month highschool ski season in Anchorage, and a few acquainted faces took house particular person victories.

Defending state champions Gus Schumacher of Service and Molly Gellert of West gained the finals, and the Service…

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