Story and photos by Mike Coil
Explore Big Sky Contributor
WHITEFISH – Big Sky standout skier Reece Bell led her team to victory March 6-8 at the Youth Ski League championships in Whitefish. Each of Bell’s talents was on display, as she took first in the women’s super-G on Friday, second in the giant slalom on Saturday, and first in the slalom on Sunday.
Bell won the slalom by nearly seven seconds and beat out the women – and men – on the super-G course.
With help from teammates Riley Becker (second in slalom) Ella Kopplin (third in giant slalom), Mazie Schreiner (sixth in slalom), Franci St. Cyr (eighth in giant slalom and ninth in slalom) and Macie Lundstrom (10th in slalom), the Big Sky Ski Education Foundation took the team championship for the second year in a row. Bell won the women’s championship title and the overall title for a second consecutive year, the first back-to-back wins in the history of the USSA Northern Division.
In addition to the super-combined YSL championship trophy, the Big Sky racers also won the inaugural Peter Maxwell Carnival Team Trophy named in honor of Bridger Bowl Ski Area and Discovery Basin coach Peter Maxwell, who died in an avalanche in March 2014.
The victory qualified a number of the YSL racers for the tri-divisional race, held at Big Sky Resort March 19-22. The tri-divisional race brings together the best racers from the Intermountain Division of Utah and Idaho, as well as Alaska and the Northern Division.
With her recent wins, Bell is now ranked third in the nation in the U14 division, and was invited to race in the U16 national junior Olympics in Maine at the end of March. Bell will conclude her season with two races in Europe, including a defense of her gold medal, which she won in the British National Children’s Championship in 2013.
Individual results from the Whitefish race for Big Sky and Bridger racers:
Friday Super G:
1 Bell, Reece (Big Sky Resort) 50.73
2 Asbell, Riley (Bridger Bowl) 52.53
3 Newhouse, Violet (BSR) 52.89
2 Carisch, Gracie (BB) 58.15
2 Brown, Brooke (BB) 1:03.23
2 Davis, Sophia (BB) 1:13.08
1 Unger, Caleb (BSR) 55.17
1 Smith, Preston (BSR) 1:14.62
Saturday Giant Slalom:
1 Newhouse, Violet (BB) 1:42.02
2 Bell, Reece (BSR) 1:43.80
3 Kopplin, Ella (BSR) 1:47.13
1 Carisch, Gracie (BB) 1:47.84
2 Fisher, Octavia (BB) 1:50.71
3 St Cyr, Franci (BSR) 1:51.09
2 Klug, Carson (BSR) 2:20.73
3 Navarro, Cally (BB) 2:20.83
1 Henyon, Walker (BB) 1:47.52
3 Brown, Walker (BB) 2:29.42
1 Bell, Reece (BSR) 1:16.23
2 Becker, Riley Belle (BSR) 1:23.16
1 Fisher, Octavia (BB) 1:32.85
3 St. Cyr, Franci (BSR) 1:33.87
1 Trebesch, Inga (BSR) 2:01.11
2 Henyon, Walker (BB) 1:21.50
3 Ueland, Cameron (BSR) 1:31.15
1 Smith, Preston (BSR) 1:53.81