Another Ski to Sea in the books

IMG_5023By Ken Johnson

Ski to Sea happened May 27, engulfing Bellingham in a festive and intense atmosphere.

The Ski to Sea race has seven different events: cross country skiing, downhill skiing or snowboarding, running, road biking, canoeing, cyclocross biking and sea kayaking.

There is a method to this athletic madness; these events show the range of outdoor activity in Bellingham.

Boomer’s Drive-In won this year with a time of 6 hours, 6 minutes and 42 seconds.

Race day was sunny and hot, and for most of the events this spelled out perfect conditions- but not for cyclocross.

According to Jeff Cummings, who helped design the cyclocross track, the ideal conditions are for it to rain two days before the race, that way there aren’t clods of dirt blocking the racers’ path.

Cyclocross is a form of bike racing wherein competitors deal with a variety of different terrain, as well as lift their bikes over small obstacles.

Mark Gallatin, a Ski to Sea volunteer at the canoe leg, said that canoers regularly flip over.

Gallatin added, pointing at a bend in the river treacherous with sticks and logs, some people get holes poked in their canoes.

Not everyone who races in Ski to Sea is competitive, for some it is an opportunity to have fun and get together with friends.

The “Sheroes,” an all-women team from the United States and Canada, said Ski to Sea gives them a chance to reconnect every year.

Lana Mitchel and Eric Booth were part of another team from out of town. They drove from Seattle to compete.

Booth said he “gets that tingly feeling associated with skiing” whenever he comes to Bellingham.

Ski to Sea draws large crowds of people, and this, coupled with the road closures that allow bikers and runners to race, creates a traffic issue. Closures made it borderline impossible to travel through downtown Fairhaven, as well as into many parks from Lynden to downtown Bellingham.

According to “Adventures NW” Ski to Sea was originally created as a tourist attraction to stimulate the local economy.

Ski to Sea still provides a boost to Bellingham’s economy.

Pete Madden, an employee at Backcountry Essentials, a sporting goods store in downtown Bellingham, said that traffic through their store increased around 15 percent.

“Good weather and more people in town increased traffic through the store,” Madden said.

Booths, set up to advertise different businesses, populated Ski to Sea. In downtown Fairhaven, near the finish line, the streets were packed with flamboyant stands giving out prizes. Mercedes’ cars lined one of the streets, acting as a make-shift car dealership.

Like Christmas or Easter, Ski to Sea brings gobs of money into Bellingham while managing to be a fun and engaging tradition.


Follow us:
facebooktwitterrss

Whatcom signs new athletes

By Felix Zavisubin

Fourteen student athletes have signed a letter of intent to join Whatcom Community College sports teams in the 2018-2019 academic year.

The signees include seven for women’s soccer, three for women’s basketball and four for men’s basketball. Twelve of the 14 commits attended Washington high schools, two athletes are coming from Alaska.

“We start internally and work outward,” said Chris Scrimsher, Whatcom Athletic Director. “[Whatcom County] is our first target area.” 

According to Scrimsher, the recruiting process relies on the work of the Whatcom coaches who attend high school games and build relationships with local coaches and athletes.

“I was recruited by the [head coach] for soccer at the end of my senior year,” said Lyla Pagnotta a women’s soccer player at Whatcom. “[She] had been my coach for club soccer during my first couple years of high school so we knew each other pretty well.”

The Northwest Athletic Conference determines a geographical area where schools in the conference are able to actively recruit student athletes and offer scholarships.

According to Scrimsher, schools are not allowed to offer scholarship dollars to athletes from high schools outside of Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Hawaii, Utah and Wyoming.

“We can offer up to 65% of tuition,” Scrimsher said. “Each coach has a discretion of how they want to split that up.”

According to Scrimsher, each sport is given an NWAC mandated number of monetary awards to give out. Each of the awards can be split between multiple athletes or given entirely to one.

Whatcom competes with all other NWAC schools when recruiting athletes. In addition to the monetary aspect, there are a variety of other factors athletes must consider when deciding what school to attend.

“I chose Whatcom because I was really impressed by their commitment to their players,” said women’s soccer signee Peyton Schwinger in a Whatcom press release.

Whatcom’s commitment to student athletes manifests itself in a variety of ways. According to Scrimsher, Whatcom is one of the premier community colleges in the NWAC because of it “state of the art” facilities and quality educators.

“The facilities at Whatcom are definitely better than any other school in the conference that we visited to play against,” Pagnotta said.

According to Pagnotta, the gym and turf field at Whatcom are unique, as most schools in the conference had muddy grass fields and old dark weight rooms.

“Whatcom sets the bar pretty high both athletically and educationally,” Schwinger said.

Schwinger will join a women’s soccer team that went 9-5-1 in conference and advanced to postseason play in 2017.

According to Scrimsher, Whatcom judges the success of the athletic programs by looking at individual athletes graduating and moving to the next level, as well as team records.

“If we’re successful and we place them at the next level, then that was a good decision for them to come to Whatcom,” said Scrimsher.

Whatcom had a number of athletes from the past year go on to continue their careers at universities, and sent men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams to postseason play.

“I would definitely recommend playing sports at Whatcom to a high school athlete because it gave me opportunities to meet lots of new friends and people and continue to play at a high level and get better,” Pagnotta said.

 

 


Follow us:
facebooktwitterrss

Throwaway to gourmet; dealing with America’s food waste

By: Kai Vieira da Rosa

Americans love food. Food culture has become integrated into the American psyche. Aside from eating food, we write about it, we travel for it, and we accessorize our love for it on our clothes and hats. Now it seems eating has changed from a primal instinct to a mere recreational event that Americans often take for granted.

The ability to have a variety of food at one’s fingertips is a luxury, but it comes with a cost. Food is wasted at an amazing rate in the United States, dwarfing all other countries. Continue reading Throwaway to gourmet; dealing with America’s food waste


Follow us:
facebooktwitterrss

New direction for student senate

 

By: Joe Zimmermann

Whatcom’s Campus is a microcosm of democracy, and as such, it has a governing body of students through which the administration hears the concerns of the students through representatives in student government.

The Associated Students of Whatcom Community College is composed of the Executive Board, the student Senators, the Programming and Diversity Board, and the college community at large. Continue reading New direction for student senate


Follow us:
facebooktwitterrss

Is it really about the music anymore?

By: Shelby Ford

Women are empowered and speaking out against the dark side of the entertainment industry, confronting some of the most powerful men in Hollywood with allegations of harassment and sexual assault. The movement Time’s Up was created in support of this action by over 300 women in the industry.

We’re seeing more and more celebrities use popular award shows as a platform to address issues such as sexual harassment and inequality of race and gender. By using award shows like the Grammys, Golden Globes and Oscars, celebrities can influence viewers. Continue reading Is it really about the music anymore?


Follow us:
facebooktwitterrss

The official student newspaper of Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Washington