WALLACE, Idaho - After more than 14 weeks of training and racing, it is likely that the athletes and parents of the Bluewood Alpine Race Team's (BART) youth ski league team are a little relieved that the season is over.
Not so for the coaches, who wish that it was just getting started.
"We have put a lot of emphasis on skills development this season and our racers are really starting to respond," head coach Hal White said after the Emerald Empire Youth Ski League's (EEYSL) final races March 19-20 at Lookout Pass Ski Area. "It's hard facing the summer with everyone performing so well."
All of White's optimism comes after two weeks of the most intense racing of the season, where the team's athletes had some of their best successes to date.
At the EEYSL Finals on March 19, the Giant Slalom was the final points race of the season. Bluewood skiers managed to rack up four top 10 finishes in the event.
March 20th featured the second Kombi event of the season, but it didn't count toward team or individual awards, which were presented at a banquet Saturday night.
There may not have been league points on the line, but that may have made Sunday's racing even tougher as the racers had nothing to lose. Strong skiing in the slalom sections of the Kombi propelled Cody Worden of Walla Walla to his first top 10 finish in EEYSL racing.
The season-long efforts of the BART athletes led to a fourth-place finish in the EEYSL team standings. This ranking matched the finish of the team a year ago, but was achieved with a much smaller team. In fact, only seven athletes were able to attend all the league races this season, compared to 17 last year.
Individually, all the BART skiers had strong finishes, and Eva Siess of Dayton claimed the only league podium by skiing consistently enough to finish third in her age group.
Bluewood Juniors racers Reid Reininger and Colleen Gibbons competed in the J3 Finals last weekend at Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Sandpoint, Idaho.
BART results from March 19-20:
Name Class GS Kombi
Mackenzie Davis Ladies J-6(7-8) 7th 7th
Evangeline Siess Ladies J-6 3rd DNS
Sophie Pellet Ladies J-5 (9-10) 16th 16th
Halle White Ladies J-5 6th 7th
Katie McMichael Ladies J-4(11-12) 20th 14th
Colleen Gibbons Ldies J-0(13-older) DNS DNS
Andrew Worden Men's J-6 30th 24th
Tyler Abramson Men's J-4(11-12) DNS DNS
Maxime Pellet Men's J-4 18th 10th
Jonathan Rasch Men's J-4 DNS DNS
Max Vandersloot Men's J-4 20th 19th
Hayden White Men's J-4 12th 24th
Cody Worden Men's J-4 21st 8th
Reid Reininger Men's J-0(13-older) 1st DNF
DSQ - Disqualified, (run number)
DNF - Did not finish
DNS - Did not start