Alpine skiers earn first-place finishes at Willamette Pass
Last updated 1/11/2022 at Noon
The Outlaws alpine ski team raced in a Giant Slalom competition at Willamette Pass on Saturday, January 8, and both the boys and girls teams had great performances in their first race of the season. Twelve schools were represented, but not all fielded full teams.
The Sisters boys finished first, Marist was runner-up, and Corvallis finished third. On the girls side, the Lady Outlaws also earned a first-place finish. South Eugene took second, and Corvallis placed third.
On the boys’ side, Bella Chladek finished second overall with a combined time of 1.38.42, and was just .05 behind the first-place finisher.
Chladek won the first run, and then in the second run skied an aggressive and super-fast direct line. Conditions were a bit challenging because of heavy snowfall, and the race-setters shortened the radius of the turns in the second run, and also added in a tricky delay. Skiers had to respond to the changing conditions and ski differently in the second run. Chladek almost crashed in the second run, but recovered and still earned second place.
Corbin Fredland came in with confidence in his first race of the season and finished third overall with a combined time of 1.43.03. Brody Duey finished with a combined time of 1.54.41. Duey had amazing recoveries in both his runs. In the first run, he tripped over his pole and jumped back and forth on his skis to avoid a crash and finish seventh. In his second race, he tumbled and flipped through the delay and was able to recover and finish 11th, for an overall ninth-place finish.
Assistant Coach Rima Givot said, “He was so athletic and responsive to not crash on both his runs!”
Freshmen Emerson Backus, Spencer Tisdel, John Berg, and Kellen Petke all skied in their first race ever. Backus skied aggressive, worked on improving his form, and finished 11th with a combined time of 1.59.78. Tisdale was consistent and aggressive and finished 12th with a combined time of 2.07.03. Berg finished with a combined time of 2.19.52, and Petke finished with a combined time of 2.44.57.
Two Outlaws skiers, Keegan Kroytz and Cooper Merrill, crashed in one of their runs, which disqualified them from scoring.
“Almost half of our team were freshmen and they did such a good job,” said Givot. “We were really impressed with the new skiers.”
The girls’ team also had good performances and did very well as a team.
Araiya Grummer (sophomore) was consistent in both her runs and took a direct line, especially at the top, to finish with a combined time of 1.50.20 for second place overall, just 1.09 seconds behind the first-place finisher.
Charlotte Seymour (sophomore), like Grummer, skied two consistent runs with a direct, aggressive line at the top of the course to finish third with a combined time of 1.51.83.
Hollie Lewis (senior) took fifth with a combined time of 1.53.10, just .01 seconds behind the fourth-place finisher. She attacked the course in both runs and had a good first performance of the season.
Freshman Ava Riehle skied in her first race ever and finished ninth with a combined score of 2.04.31. Riehle, after only two practices on the snow, did a great job to earn ninth overall.
Piper Adelt (senior) had a strong first race of the season and finished 13th with a combined time of 2.18.46. Freshman Lauren Sitz, in her first ski race ever, finished 16th overall with a combined time of 2.37.15.
Presley Adelt (sophomore), Molly Greaney (sophomore), and freshmen Ella Eby and Tallis Grummer all raced strong, but didn’t finish at least one of their runs, so were unable to earn a score.
Coach Gabe Chladek said, “I was really impressed with the entire team. We have a lot of freshmen and first-time racers from upper classes that joined the team this year, and across the board all of their performances exceeded my expectations. The sunny weather made for a beautiful first day of racing for this group of young athletes. When you only have a little skiing experience or you’re brand new to alpine racing, it can take a lot of guts to step up and run the course with all those people watching, and every person on the team performed bravely.”