It has been a pretty big few weeks for the Niwot student and Nederland skier Emily Creek.
On Feb. 23 at the Colorado High School Activities Association state skiing championships, Creek won the slalom state title with a two-run time of 1 minutes, 11.65 seconds. On Sunday at Winter Park Resort, she placed 36th at the Rocky/Central U16 Junior Championships.
That's a couple of big-time accomplishments to wrap up the winter season, and for a freshman no less.
"It was a pretty good season. I was kind of confused when I won (state) because it just felt like another race and I felt like I just had a pretty good race and I was just kind of watching my teammates come down," Creek said. "When the season started, I knew it was going to be hard. Since this is my first year of high school, it was really cool to win state as a freshman."
Creek led the Panthers girls to a ninth-place finish in the team scoring and won the Colorado state title by a full second over the next fastest racer. But it hasn't been all smiles and victories for Creek this winter.
The Panthers freshman finished lower than expected in the giant slalom at state, placing 24th with a time of 2:20.8. And while still recording an impressive finish, Creek didn't place as highly as she believed she could at the Junior Championships because she caught an edge on her ski in both of her runs.
"I hiked both runs in the slalom," Creek said. "There are people there from all over and a lot of them, all they do is slalom. I didn't do so great but at least I finished. It was pretty fun to see what I could do against all those really good club girls."
Also a tennis player for Niwot, Creek is Nederland's first individual state champion since Sophie Defries won the slalom in 2015. Given her early career success, it's also looking like Creek has the potential to approach the level of other Nederland skiing greats like Bailey Kuechenmeister, who won the Skimeister award three times from 2013-15.
Emily's results are very impressive," Nederland head coach Jonathon Damon said. "Her youth won't hold her back. Emily's runs (at state) were amazing and she beat the second-place finisher by over a second, which is a lot of time in ski racing. She's an incredibly talented ski racer and a very hard worker. She spent a lot of time training this year and it all paid off with the top times in slalom at State Championships. We're proud to have her on the Nederland Ski Team and happy to hear she's returning for another year of ski racing.
Things are happening fast for the young skier. But keeping things simple has worked well for Creek so far, and she plans to continue that trend while setting incremental goals for herself. How well she has done this early in her career, however, has made even incremental goals seem like lofty ones for Creek.
"Hopefully I can get the GS next year and also defend the slalom title," Creek said.