The Science of Skiing with Rana Kraftson

Catching up with one high school senior half-way through her most memorable year.

Name: Rana Kraftson
Age: 17
Grade: Senior at Stillwater High School
Family: Rebecca, Torry, Shad (18) and Adrik (13) Kraftson

What is your favorite school-related activity?
I love my running team, but Nordic skiing is my favorite activity. We have a super tight-knit team and a great atmosphere that makes it fun to train and compete.

What is your favorite subject in school, and why?
I really like science, especially chemistry. It’s cool to discover how our world works. There are so many complex things that keep our Earth spinning ’round, and I’m always amazed by how much we know about tiny little particles we can’t even see.

How do you give back, either to your school or another community you are a member of?
I help lead FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) at my school, and I volunteer in my church community.

Why do you volunteer in this way?
I think it’s easy to be involved in these things, because I like doing it, and my faith is super important to me. It’s a good way to spend my time.

What’s your favorite pre-game ritual?

Before every race, I eat a light lunch, then I eat four Pro-Bar energy chews about 15 minutes before the start. We always dance with our Nordic ski team in the starting area, which gets us all pumped up to work together and race fast. Other teams know Stillwater has a signature dance. I like to talk with teammates while I’m warming up to stay distracted and keep from worrying too much about the race.

What’s your secret to success?
There’s definitely not one secret to success. My coaches, my teammates and my family all motivate me to work hard and spend time doing what I love. Having coaches who really know what they’re doing gives me a big advantage, and I’m super grateful for them. My parents deserve a lot of credit, too; they do a lot to help me succeed. If you asked my teammates what my secret to success is, they might say my grandparents. They come to every meet and cheer louder than I’ve ever heard anyone cheer before. Whenever I’m within a kilometer, I can hear them cheering (even if they can’t see me).

What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I have a huge sweet tooth: There’s nothing I like more than a good bowl of ice cream.

If you know, where would you like to study after high school?
I have an interest in physical therapy as a profession, and I definitely want to ski in college. I hope to find a good fit to pursue both goals. With a limited pool of collegiate Nordic ski programs, we’ll see where the upcoming ski season takes me.