The Karels family continues to pursue their love of skiing as another competitive season comes to an end.
Cambridge-Isanti junior Haley Karels and her sister, eighth-grader Cierra, make up the Cambridge-Isanti Alpine Ski team, and they have represented the school well.
The team was founded in the winter of 2013, but after Haley broke her leg, that dream was put on hold. In 2014 with a fully healed leg, Haley was back at it and this time, her sister was right by her side.
After a few successful years, the girls had a stellar 2016 season. Haley was once again coming off a tough injury.
During the 2015-16 season, she broke her other leg, and detached her ACL at the Junior Olympics in Vail, Colorado. An injury like this may be enough to keep most athletes on the couch, but not Haley.
Haley was back on the slopes with Cierra and the two cruised their way to the ranks of high school skiing’s elite.
Both girls finished in the top 10 in their conference, Haley finished seventh while Cierra ended in fifth.
Cierra earned her a bid to compete in sections, where again she finished fifth. The fifth-place finish was enough to bring her to state for the first time in her young career.
After falling on her first run, Cierra finished 16th on her second. Overall the two runs put her at 38th place out of 88 female varsity skiers in the state. Being in eighth- grade, she certainly put the rest of the skiing community on notice for next season.
While the high school season may have ended, the Karels family does not get to hang up the ski boots yet.
Cierra has qualified for a spot in this year’s Junior Olympics held in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
While the sport may take them across the county and back a few times a year, the Karels family never gets tired of the grind. To them, skiing is more than a sport; it is a way to stay bonded as a family by doing something they love.
As Haley and Cierra’s mother Kari put it, “This is a fun sport, and it is something that they can do later in life. It is fun for the whole family, and it is something they can do at 80 - 90 years old.”