Snowboarders make it to state competition


Photo courtesy of Taja Caldwell

During the week of Mar. 12, two students participated in the state snowboarding competition. It took place at Mt. Hood Meadows and lasted all week. Different events occurred each day, and an award ceremony concluded the week.

“State was very, very fun,” Fetters said, speaking fondly about her experience. “I met so many new people and learned so much. We were always doing something, so it never got boring.”

Junior Taja Caldwell and freshman Liv Fetters competed with McDaniel jerseys during the snowboarding season, but there weren’t enough people to form a team of only McDaniel students. Therefore, students from Benson, Central Catholic, Grant and De LaSalle competed together as the Northeastern Snowboard Team. 

“The schools just combine together, so we have a larger team so it’s easier to organize,” Caldwell said. “It’s about 50 kids.”

Caldwell began her snowboarding journey early on in her life. 

“My dad started taking me up when I was two,” she explained, “but then it was like only once a year until I was eight. Then I got a season pass, and I’ve been going [snowboarding] 10 to 40 times each season since.” 

Fetters is fairly new to the sport, and she only learned how to snowboard three seasons ago. This was her first year snowboarding competitively. 

“I joined the team because I really enjoy going up to the mountain, and I love the sport and its community,” Fetters said. 

To practice for the state competition, both Fetters and Caldwell drove up to Mt. Hood Meadows every Wednesday for about two months prior. Qualifying competitions occur nearly every weekend. Unfortunately, many of the weekend competitions this year were canceled due to weather and issues with organization. 

The daily schedule while staying in a cabin near Government Camp for the state competition consisted of early mornings, long competitions, and ending the days in the hot tub. 

“I qualified for all the events: banked slalom, boardercross, halfpipe and slopestyle,” Caldwell said. “I got second for boardercross, third for banked slalom, fourth for slopestyle and then tenth for halfpipe.” 

Fetters qualified and competed in banked slalom.

 “I was out of town for most of the comps, so I’m hoping to do more next year,” she explained.

Caldwell attended the same state competition last year and won the banked slalom event. Things have changed since then, though.

“It was definitely more competitive this season because the Hood River kids formed a team, and now they practice five times a week, versus us [who] practice once a week,” Caldwell stated. “And they all do online school, so they were definitely better. But we still placed higher than them on a few things.” 

Overall, it was a successful season for Fetters and Caldwell, and both look forward to next season.