DAYTON - Two members of the Bluewood Alpine Race Team (BART) were selected as alternates at the Pacific Northwest Ski Association (PNSA) in the Junior Olympics March 16-20 at Squaw Valley, Calif.
Reid Reininger and Colleen Gibbons, both 13 years old and of Walla Walla, are racing in J3 competiton. They raced as youth last year.
"There are only 40 spots on the JO team and nearly 200 J3 racers in the PNSA competing for them," said BART
head coach Hal White. "Colleen and Reid have shown they can ski in the top of the pack at Juniors races and they still have two years to develop."
While Reininger and Gibbons will still attend some Emerald Empire Youth Ski League (EEYSL) events with their younger teammates, the focus for J3 races is qualifying for the Junior Olympics. There are only two annual qualifying events in the region and both skiers did well enough at those to qualify as alternates.
White expects this year's experience to be good for the racers and the team, which will likely add at least three athletes next season and three more the following year.
Reininger and Gibbons' influence will be positive, White said.
"The younger athletes look up to them and they are putting in the work to improve," he said. "That's a great example for everyone on the team."