Carly Earnest-Miller is a junior at Lake City and a fourth-year member of the Rochester Alpine ski team, a co-op with Rochester-area schools.

Also on the team is her sister, freshman Baily.

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Carly is part of a family of skiers. But she didn’t get into Alpine ski racing until having it suggested to her as a sixth-grader. That invitation came from her mother, who was acting on a flyer she’d seen advertising the Alpine D-Team, a junior development organization at Welch Village Ski Area for young downhill skiers. Carly said yes to that and then the Rochester Alpine ski team two years later.

Why did you say yes to joining the D-Team?

EARNEST-MILLER: My mom asked if I wanted to try it, it was something new and I wanted to take my skiing to the next level.

What did you think of it right away, and when did you actually start to get good at it?

EARNEST-MILLER: It was a little intimidating at first because it is such a technically difficult sport. Me being a little sixth-grader at the time, I was cautious towards it. But I just kept working at it and I noticed I got a lot better when I joined the high school team in the eighth grade because I now had so much more time on the hill. Between the Rochester ski team (which also trains at Welch Village) and the D-Team, I was now skiing four nights a week instead of just Saturday’s with the D-Team.

What changes did you make in your skiing in order to improve?

EARNEST-MILLER: I worked on a lot of different skills. One thing I tried to work on was having a higher line when I’m skiing so that I’m making my turn at the gate instead of after it. And I worked on transitioning between turns. You don’t want to be standing up as you do that, but instead in a flexed position. That helps you transition faster.

What is the worst spill you’ve ever had?

EARNEST-MILLER: I’ve never had a terrible spill. But one time I was coming over the headwall of the run and I hit a rut. My ski popped off and then everything went flying. I lost everything and then I rolled for a while. It didn’t hurt that bad. I was a little bruised. But it hurt my pride more than anything. When I got to the bottom of the hill, everyone was asking me if I was OK.

Are you the best skier now in your family?

EARNEST-MILLER: I’d say yes, but my sister is pretty close to my skill level.

What has made you want to keep coming back for more with the Rochester Alpine ski team?

EARNEST-MILLER: I really like the people; I really have a lot of friends on the team. It’s a great opportunity and the coaching is great. Whenever we do a run, we then talk to the coaches about it at the bottom of the hill. They focus on everything you are doing and not just with the really good skiers.

You are from Lake City but are skiing with a bunch of kids mostly from Rochester. What has that been like?

EARNEST-MILLER: It’s been surprisingly easy. There are a lot of kids on the team, and everyone is really nice and friendly. It was easy to make friends and meet new people. I remember always being included in things.

What is your mindset seconds before you go on a ski run?

EARNEST-MILLER: Well, when I first started, my mindset was to just make it down the hill. But my mindset now is more to get a good time. My fear of going down the hill has decreased and that’s happened as I’ve built skill.

Who was the best skier on the team last year and what made them special?

EARNEST-MILLER: I’d probably say (current Century senior) Max Sargent. He is technically really good. His turns through the gates are good and always aggressive.

Lake City’s Carly Earnest-Miller skis before practice on Thursday, January 7, 2021, at Welch Village Ski Area in Welch. (Traci Westcott / twestcott@postbulletin.com)
Lake City’s Carly Earnest-Miller skis before practice on Thursday, January 7, 2021, at Welch Village Ski Area in Welch. (Traci Westcott / twestcott@postbulletin.com)
Lake City’s Carly Earnest-Miller skis before practice on Thursday, January 7, 2021, at Welch Village Ski Area in Welch. (Traci Westcott / twestcott@postbulletin.com)
Lake City’s Carly Earnest-Miller skis before practice on Thursday, January 7, 2021, at Welch Village Ski Area in Welch. (Traci Westcott / twestcott@postbulletin.com)
Lake City’s Carly Earnest-Miller skis before practice on Thursday, January 7, 2021, at Welch Village Ski Area in Welch. (Traci Westcott / twestcott@postbulletin.com)
Lake City’s Carly Earnest-Miller skis before practice on Thursday, January 7, 2021, at Welch Village Ski Area in Welch. (Traci Westcott / twestcott@postbulletin.com)
Carly Earnest-Miller, a junior from Lake City skis for the Rochester Alpine ski team. (Contributed photo)
Carly Earnest-Miller, a junior from Lake City skis for the Rochester Alpine ski team. (Contributed photo)