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Student Spotlight: Susana Khrystyuk

By: Lily Criswell and Tracy Truong

Susana Khrystyuk, Class of '23

“I was on the slopes with her and she was wicked!” exclaimed Madie Pate, a senior at MMACHS.

You may be asking, who is she talking about? Well, those who have seen her in action rave about Susana Khrystyuk’s talent in snowboarding.

Amalia Stubbs, another fellow senior, added, “Suzi is so good at snowboarding. One time, I almost took her out on the slopes, but she was too good and went around me.”

But like most sports, Susana has put in a lot of time and effort to be where she is today.

“I started my sophomore year. That’s when I got my first snowboard. I didn't even ask my parents, I just brought it home one day. I always wanted to go, but I never had the chance until I got my own board.”

Susana cited her brother and sister as her biggest inspiration for getting into the sport.

“My brother and sister are really good and they can do all kinds of cool tricks. They can do jumps or even balance on one side of the board, for example, they can have the upper tail of the board in the air while going down slopes.”

After a lot of practice, she is now able to do those tricks herself.

Susana in full snowboard gear at sunset

“There are so many different things you can do. For example, when it comes to jumps, you can do pops, ollies, and nollies. My favorite is pops, which is essentially jumping up and down.”

Snowboarding requires more skill than skiing because it’s harder to learn. However, Susana admits, “Skiing is much easier to learn but the tricks might be harder.”

As you can see, Susana displays her hard work and effort in snowboarding, but she also shows that same dedication in school as well.

Mrs. Hurst, MMACHS’s CNA teacher, expressed, “I think Susana is amazing and was an exceptional student during CNA last semester. I love getting to know MMACHS students outside of my class and seeing their personal growth and how they build their talents and passions!”

Susana enjoys not only the simple things about snowboarding, but also the adrenaline rush that comes with it.

“The snow and sunset are always so pretty in the evening, so I enjoy watching the sun set and the snow fall. What I also enjoy about snowboarding is doing jumps and landing them because it gives me a strong feeling of accomplishment as well.”

If you’re looking for something new to try, snowboarding has many benefits that you wouldn’t expect.

“[Snowboarding] is so beneficial because you get to indulge in the sport while watching a pretty sunset from time to time. It’s such a fun way for me to relax and get my mind off of school.”

Although it's a fun sport with great scenery, it is one of the hardest sports to learn and become skilled at.

“Balancing was one of my main challenges at first because I was scared of the speed. But, once I learned how to embrace it, I learned how to go fast without being afraid of falling. Compared to others, I can just zoom and go straight down because I get the best speed.”

For those of you who feel a little unmotivated when it comes to snowboarding or want to see what it has to offer, Susana has some advice for you.

“Don't give up. A lot of people give up their first time and they're like, ‘Oh I never want to go again.’ You just have to keep pushing yourself. During my first time, I bruised my knee and sprained my wrist, but I kept going. ”

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