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Student and teacher compete together in Big Sky skijoring competition

Sophomore Phoebe Alverson pulls social studies teacher, Mr. Marsh in a skijoring event at Big Sky

Skijoring is not a well-known sport in most of the US, but for Park High sophomore Phoebe Alverson and her social studies teacher Andrew Marsh, it is a shared passion. On February 3, Phoebe pulled her World History teacher Mr. Marsh for the first time at Big Sky Skijoring.
For those who do not know, skijoring is a winter sport that involves a team of two people: a person riding a horse and a person on skis being pulled behind the horse by a hand held rope. The skier must hit a series of jumps as well as collect rings while being pulled by the horse. The fastest team to complete the course wins.
Team Alverson and Marsh finished fifth overall out of 30 teams at Big Sky in the “sport” category, which is one step below professional. This was their first time competing as a team, with Alverson riding the horse that pulled Marsh on skis.
Alverson has been skijoring as a rider and skier for nine years. Phoebe’s father, Dennis, got the family into skijoring after seeing an ad in Bozeman for the unique sport. Having horses and a love for skiing, he decided to give it a try with his kids. Senior Fiona Alverson, Phoebe’s older sister, also participates in skijoring and pulled as well as skied with Phoebe in Big Sky.
Marsh, on the other hand, has only been skijoring for three years. He was introduced to the sport when former Park High teacher Alyssa Silvia approached him about being a skier for her. Marsh and Silvia competed in the novice division his first year of skijoring. Wanting to move up and “go faster,” Marsh decided to compete in the sport division. After being cleared on the wait list for this year’s Big Sky skijoring event, Alverson invited Marsh to join her team. She first talked to Marsh about skijoring after seeing a photo of him skijoring in his classroom. Alverson also knew that Marsh had competed in the Big Sky event the year before and asked him if he had plans to do it again.
Alverson would pull Marsh two times over the weekend in the sport category. “She is a heck of a rider,” Marsh said about his teammate and student. “My job is easy. I just hang onto the rope and refuse to let go,” said Marsh. “It’s super cool being able to race with one of my students.”
“It was honestly super fun. It’s always interesting to see teachers outside of school and fun to get to know them better,” Alverson said.

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