MISSION RIDGE, Wash. — 2002 was no typical year on the hill for the local Buddy Werner girls ski team.
This year, the group of 10 wasn’t content just to compete in the three-state regional championship. These racers wanted to make certain that their names would always be remembered among the best the region had to offer.
So they applied a little extra wax to their skis, dialed in their turns and skied away with third place among all Washington, Oregon and Idaho teams at the March 8-10 Buddy Werner Championships.
“This was a good experience for Claire (Snelling), Chrissie (Brock) and I because it was our last year,” said Kayla Lloyd, who will join Snelling and Brock in the J3 division next season. “We all improved a lot and my giant slalom run was the best of my entire life!”
Out of a field of nearly 150 racers, Lloyd finished 30th in GS and 37th in slalom, while Snelling took 35th in GS and 23rd in slalom. Brock completed the best combined finish on the team with a 25th place in GS and a 13th in slalom.
The team’s three senior members all agreed that one of the team’s rising stars, Toby Carratt (10), made the most significant impact at Mission Ridge, moving up 96 spots in the standings from her original seeding.
Carratt, the team’s ninth seed, skied to a 62nd place in GS and a 48th place in slalom to surpass a long list of skiers that had qualified ahead of her.
“I was just happy to improve on my times so much,” she said.
Each team member felt that the team peaked at the right time, and everyone skied her best race when the season was on the line.
“Some days we just wanted to sleep in, but once we got up to the mountain, it was great,” Snelling said. “All the hard work paid off. We had an amazing, fun year together and we’re looking forward to the next step.”
Other locals making their mark at this year’s Buddy Werner Championships were Whitney Reynier (56th GS, 58th slalom), Bridget Merriam (75th GS, 78th slalom), and Kelsie Scroggins (107th GS, 86th slalom). Kaytlin Hughes did not compete due to injury.
Rounding out the Buddy Werner team this season were Jacqueline Wiles and Maggie Greene of Portland. Wiles finished 43rd in GS and 21st in slalom, while Greene finished 23rd in GS and 17th in slalom.