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Seniors Cailin Gahan and Kiera Bertell place first in giant slalom, slalom events

COURTESY PHOTO - Wilsonville's girls ski team (Noelle Schaaf, Cailin Gahan and Kiera Bertell) finished third in the GS at the OISRA state championships.

Wilsonville seniors Cailin Gahan and Kiera Bertell spent the past two weeks proving they are not only two of the top high school alpine ski racers in the state, but also in the west.

After winning the OISRA state championship in the giant slalom on March 5, Gahan finished third in the GS at the Western U.S. High School Championships on March 13.

"Getting third at regionals and winning state, it was a really good end to my senior year," Gahan said. "It really made me feel good. All the hard work that I had put in, in these last three years leading up to this, I felt like it all paid off."

Racing against 102 other skiers at Mt. Ashland, Bertell won the slalom state title in 1 minute, 33.21 seconds, and took fourth in the GS in 1:40.04.

Gahan won the GS state title by 5.73 seconds, finishing her two runs in 45.32 and 47.89 seconds for a total of 1:33.21.

"It was such an exciting moment for me knowing that I proved to myself what I can do," Gahan said. "I went into that course knowing that I could handle it. For me that was really big, especially moving on to the second run, knowing that I had some cushion. I was definitely very happy with both runs and how it turned out."

Wilsonville's team placed third in the GS at the state championships with a total time of 5:15.67.

Gahan and Bertell were then invited to the western championships at Mammoth Mountain.

Leading the Oregon team, Gahan finished third in the GS in 2:05.24. Bertell placed 14th in 2:09.46.

"I knew that the competition was going to be very tough," Gahan said. "If I placed in the top 10, I was going to be super happy about that, so placing third was so fantastic for me."

Saturday's slalom races were canceled due to storms.

"Going down there was so much fun," Gahan said. "The GS race was absolutely incredible. We had never skied anything like it. Being able to ski against all of these different teams was so cool."

Derek Wiley
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