By CANDICE HOAG
Last season it all came down to the final race. Ever since we could remember our goal had been to win the state championship, and now we had our chance.
It all came down to the wire. If we could just make up those few seconds, victory would be ours. We had already beaten the Bend girls in the giant slalom race the previous day. Now if we could just hang on to our lead our childhood dreams would come true.
Unfortunately, after all was said and done, we fell a few seconds short to Bend, who claimed the combined first place victory.
We did walk away with a first place trophy in giant slalom, but this just wasn’t enough to satisfy our desire to win.
And if you consider that this was the only race we lost all season, you can imagine how much disappointment we felt knowing we were only a few seconds from having the perfect season.
We wanted it all, and sometimes, when you want to become champions, you just have to be greedy. That’s the biggest difference this year. Now we’re ready.
With a good 70 inches of snow up on the mountain, the HRV girls ski team is fired up for another stellar season on the slopes.
Still carrying the feeling of disappointment in our hearts, the small but talented group of girls is busy trying to harness that feeling and turn it into revenge.
Although our first race isn’t until Jan. 5, we have already begun dryland training, which consists of lots of running, jumping, weight training and even a little fun once in a while. Our coach Jon Copper is just as eager for the racing season to begin.
“If the girls can stay focused and train hard every practice, we should have a very good shot at the first place trophy,” he said. “As long as we can claim the league title again we should be in a good position once the state championships come around.”
With Mt. Hood Meadows opening two weekends ago, the team hopes to get a head start on on snow training. This year we have our sights set on the same thing as we always do: the state title.
And there is no reason HRV can’t take it all. With four returning varsity skiers and two strong underclassmen, Lauren Emmerson and Aileen Herlitz, the Eagles should be a tough team to beat.
Leading the way for HRV this year will be juniors Lindsay McClure and Jodie Gates, sophomore Lisa Tedford, who was last year’s giant slalom league champion, and myself, the 2001 league slalom and combined champion.
“I am really excited for the race season to begin,” Tedford said. “With all the new additions to both the boys and girls teams, we should have a lot of fun together this year.
“Our girls team definitely has a good shot at winning it all this year and I wouldn’t be surprised if the boys placed high as well. With all of the talent we have on the team we could very easily walk away with all the first-place trophies at state,” she said.
With nearly 45 years of racing between the six of us, the squad has enough experience under our belts to understand what it will take to become state champions.
Our team knows we have to make every race count if we are to get one of the top seeds at state. If we are to win the league title, it will also be crucial to have every racer show up to every race.
Our squad, along with help and support of our coaches, has already begun our quest this year.
For now, we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed, pray for ample amounts of snow, and hope our hard work leads us to victory.