“It was really awesome to have a strong group of girls with me for my last year, being the only varsity senior,” she said. “I feel confident knowing that next year a lot of the same girls will be returning, so our team will be strong again.”
The team took first place in the 2019 Wisconsin Interscholastic Alpine Racing Association (WIARA) ski championships February 16-18 in La Crosse, after taking home the trophy first in 2018. In overall combined scores, Alex Nonn, DSHA’20, finished seventh, Michelle Horning placed ninth, and Abby Horning, DSHA ’21, finished 11th overall.
While back-to-back state championships can be rare, DSHA is no stranger to them. It wasn’t long ago that the DSHA volleyball team brought home back-to-back state championship trophies, one in 2014 and one in 2015.
“It just shows how strong we are,” Michelle Horning said.
"It’s taken a lot of progress to get girls’ sports going. I think DSHA has coined the whole idea of girls succeeding in anything they put their mind to. (The back-to-back state championships) are just a testament to that."
But winning state championships doesn’t mean anything if you can’t share it with your teammates.
“We have a real close bond,” Michelle Horning said. “It seems like an individual sport. A lot of girls join on their own, maybe with some friends, but in the end, it’s like everyone is one big team,” she said. “You may do one run by yourself, but in the end it’s a team sport.”
Some members are bonded through more than the team they belong to with three sets of sisters competing for the Dashers: Abby and Michelle Horning, Alex Nonn and her younger sister, Kate Nonn, DSHA ’22, and Halle Quadracci, DSHA ’21, and tri-captain Meghan Quadracci, DSHA ’19. These relationships have helped grow the close-knit nature of this championship team.
Looking ahead, Michelle Horning hopes to continue to ski in her future; she is looking for a college or university with a ski program. If her school of choice does not have a program, she wants to help coach the DSHA team over her winter break. Either way, she is certain her team’s future remains bright, and leaves them with one piece of advice as they go after the first three-peat Wisconsin state championship for the Dashers since the tennis team did it in 1992-1994:
“Have fun, but don’t lose sight of your goals.”