The Outlaws ski teams are headed to State competition for the first time in many years.

The Sisters ski teams raced in the OSAA league finals at Mt. Bachelor on Friday and Saturday, February 28-29. Friday was the league finals in the giant slalom and Saturday’s finals were the slalom race.

The boys varsity squad has been having one of their best seasons in several years, and they were looking for another top-three team finish. Coach Gabe Chladek told The Nugget that a series of technical glitches on the course caused the boy’s team to drop back in the finish order.

“We just needed a few more racers to finish in the top 10 for the day to hold our spot,” said Chladek.

Evan Palmer had the best combined two-day run finish for the day. Evan finished eighth and earned 55 points for the team. Bela Chladek finished 14th (36 points), Corbin Fredland was 18th (24 points), Colton Seymour 19th (22points), George Chladek 22nd (13 points), and Mitchell Griffin 25th (five points).

The varsity girls held on to their fourth-place spot and had a fairly good race on Friday. Hollie Lewis skied two fairly smooth runs and finished 17th (28 points), Skylar Wilkins was 30th, Sydney Wilkens 31st, Piper Adelt 32nd, Annie Cohen 37th, and Tatum Cramer was 39th.

The final slalom race for the league was held on Saturday on the Leeway Run at Mt. Bachelor. Conditions were a bit more stormy due to the new snow and the low temperatures.

Sisters’ boys squad had a much better day on the slalom course, and finished just fractions behind Summit High for third place.

Palmer got first place on his first run and earned 100 points in the single run. His combined finish for the day was fourth place.

“Evan’s first run was extremely smooth and aggressive and probably was the best slalom run to date of his high school career,” said Chladek.

George Chladek finished 12th, Bela Chladek was right behind his brother with a 13th-place finish, Seymour was 34th, and Griffin placed 21st. Fredland pushed hard on his first run and crashed, but had a solid second-run finish.

On the girls side, Lewis’s race looked to be one of her best slalom runs ever, but she caught a gate and crashed on her first run. Hollie skied a really clean second run and came in sixth and earned 22 points. Sydney Wilkins, Skylar Wilkins, and Adelt came in one right after the other with 29th, 30th, and 31st respective finishes. Cohen was 39th, and Cramer finished 41st. The Lady Outlaws finished fifth in the slalom race.

Both the boys and girls teams ended up with a fourth-place finish overall for the season. The boys were just a fraction away from grabbing the third-place spot.

“The seniors on the varsity boys team have been working hard for years, and this season represented a culmination of that effort,” said Chladek. “They came really close to a top-three season finish, and even though they fell just a bit short they exceeded everyone’s expectations in the league this year.”

The top four varsity teams in the league advance to the State championships, and both the boys and girls teams will be in attendance. The State championships will be held on Mount Ashland, Wednesday through Friday, March 4-6.

“We’re super-excited to race at a new venue and see how we can do against some of the other Oregon teams that we haven’t seen in quite a long time,” said Chladek.

The boys JV team also got to participate in the league finals, and three racers qualified for the finals in the giant slalom on Friday. Christopher Lundgren logged the best finish of the day at 37th overall, and was followed by Connor Petty, who finished in 42nd place. Simon Rhett raced hard, but sadly crashed on both runs.

“Simon may have crashed, but I always have a lot of respect for a racer who’s pushing hard and discovering the limits,” said Chladek.

On Saturday, Rhett was Sisters’ only JV racer that qualified for slalom finals. He skied two good runs and came in 35th overall for the day.