The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

Competitive skiers hit the slopes this winter

Karyn Ellis
Freshman Evyn Ellis skis at Kirkwood in preparation for her freestyle skiing competitions.

The wind whips through the air around freshman Evyn Ellis as she speeds down the slope. With the soft, white, powdery snow coating her skies, she races to victory, securing yet another gold medal as a competitive skier. 

Competitive skiing is composed of three disciplines: racing, freestyle, and freeride. In racing, skiers compete on a groomed run in between gates for the fastest time. While also on groomed runs, freestyle skiing consists of trying to perform the best tricks on manually built features. Ellis competes in freeride.

“Free rides [is where] you choose a big venue on the mountain with a bunch of features like cliffs, trees, moguls, jumps, and then [the skier] can pick a line and get judged on how you ski it,” Ellis said.

At the age of eleven, Ellis began competitively freeride skiing with the Kirkwood Jets Freeride team in Tahoe. Now, she competes in about four to six competitions a season with Tahoe Freeride (TJFS), which includes teams in the Far West region. 

“This year, we’re only doing four [competitions] and three of them count [towards championships],” Ellis said. “We’re competing in five competitions [which will decide] if I make it to championships, which I hope I will.”

Championships are on a national level under the International Free Skiers Association (IFSA), with the competition being held at Breckenridge, Colorado this year. As a competitive skier, Ellis is constantly traveling, with plans to ski in Argentina this summer. However, the most challenging aspect of skiing for Ellis is her nerves. 

“I get really nervous before a competition,” Ellis said. “And just challenging yourself every weekend can be pretty tiring.” 

Yet the adrenaline rush Ellis experiences is what keeps her going back to the slopes every weekend. Similarly, senior Daniella Noy finds that same rush while she’s skiing in Palisades Tahoe. As a former competitive ski racer, Noy competed in the Super Giant Salmon. Now, she works as a ski coach on the weekends. 

“It’s fun and I like having a team sport,” Noy said. “[I like how it’s] in a completely different setting.” 

As these skiers prepare for a snowy winter, they look forward to a strong season and an exciting year on the slopes. 

“I hope I’m gonna make it [to the championships],” Ellis said. “I’ve been having a good season.”

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About the Contributor
Kailyn Holty
Kailyn Holty, Editor in Chief
Kailyn Holty is a junior and third-year journalist. She enjoys writing about campus life, current events, and cultural pieces. She hopes to raise awareness of student issues through her writing. In her free time, she likes playing tennis, hiking, completing jigsaw puzzles, and reading.

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