From 12th to 1st Place: The Comeback Story of BA’s Ski Champion Anna Deubel

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From 12th to 1st Place: The Comeback Story of BA’s Ski Champion Anna Deubel

Katherine Hearden

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As many of you may know, Brookfield Academy’s Anna Deubel won the overall first place title at the Wisconsin State High School Ski and Snowboard Championships. Anna competed in three different events: Super G, GS, and Slalom. The total of these three events are averaged together, and the skier with the lowest number of points wins. However, many of you may not know that Anna also competed at state last year, and she finished in twelfth place. Intrigued by this drastic development between her seasons, KnightWatch took a deeper look into Deubel’s comeback season, her adjustments to her training regiment, and the reconstruction of her mental approach.

Anna began skiing at the age of three. Throughout her middle school years, she participated in club skiing, and she raced against skiers from across the country. Anna has qualified for several Junior Olympics races and has attended elite ski camps around the world, even travelling to Australia during the summer to work on her skills. Prior to the state championships last year, the impressive sophomore was poised to win the state championships. She placed first in the LaCrosse Cup, which is known among the ski community as the “preview” of state. Additionally, she had placed first in many of the high school races throughout the year, and her skills seemed to be at a peak level.

Following the first two races at state, Anna was in first place for the overall title. All she needed was a clean final run, and the state title would be hers. However, on Anna’s final run, Anna’s ski caught the wrong edge, causing her to fall and dropping her overall position to twelfth place. Although Anna was only a sophomore, Anna described her loss at state “heartbreaking.” However, Anna realized her loss allowed her to come into this year’s ski season stronger, more mature, and armed with a new approach.

Over the summer, Anna improved her balance by putting in time at the weightroom, building strength in her core and legs. During the fall, she made it to the round of 16 at the WIAA State Tennis Championship. Tennis helped Anna work on her mental game, as she explained, “Playing in that intense environment at state really helped me learn how to perform well under pressure.” Now with ski season on the horizon, Anna began to reevaluate her approach, for she realized, “I knew if I could I ski to my potential, yet stay on my feet, I had the ability to win.”

Having won the first race of the season, Anna automatically qualified for state. Throughout the season, she worked with her coaches to find the right balance between skiing conservatively, yet aggressively. Her drills emphasized this adjustment, as Anna worked on her ability to cross the line cleanly in each drill, and she applied this technique to every race throughout the season.

Having won the LaCrosse Cup for the second consecutive year, Anna felt that her confidence had been “boosted” for the state championships. Following the first two races, Anna found herself in the same position as the prior year: first in the overall rankings and on the cusp of a state title. During the warmups for the final race, Anna remembers she “had never been so nervous in her life.” At the top of the course, her coaches reminded her to keep her hips and shoulders level. Feeling the support from her family, teammates, and coaches, Anna carved through the first gate. She skied a clean run, putting her in second place for that particular race. This ranking allowed Anna to edge out the first place overall title by one point.

Reflecting on her comeback season, Anna cites the disappointment of losing as what motivated her to put in work during the offseason. Anna’s improvement in her mental game due her cross-sport involvement along with the help of her coaches propelled Anna to a championship season. Anna’s comeback season serves as an example for all of BA’s athletic programs, as Anna embodies what the BA athlete should be: passionate and hardworking, yet modest and strategic. Congrats, Anna!

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