Lucy McLean of Hood River won the girls varsity with a time of 31.53.

More than 340 high school competitors from Metro Portland and the Gorge opened the racing season on Mount Hood by ripping through the gates in blustery conditions on the Magic Mile Saturday for the 2014 Christine Cato Memorial Race.

Austin Keillor of Hood River posted the fastest time of the day to take first in the boys varsity in 30.64 seconds.

Lucy McLean, also of Hood River, took first in the girls varsity with a time of 31.53 seconds.

But the race wasn't all about competition. The Christine Cato Memorial, named for a young racer who died tragically on Mount Hood in 1989, is a non-league event that emphasizes individual expression and fun as well as skiing prowess. As you'll see from the slideshow below, racers of all varieties tore down a well-packed and extremely fast slalom course wearing wings, capes, bear suits, frog eyes and gnome hats. One brave soul even competed in just his bathing suit, and fortunately for him he did not crash.

It was hardly a day for beach attire, with gusts of wind kicking up loose snow to make visibility a real challenge at times. But the race went off smoothly and a big crowd cheered on racers with a lot of energy and spirit.

Because of the huge number of competitors, racers only got one run each. After the race they crowded into the Mt. Hood Room at Timberline Lodge for a big banquet and awards ceremony.

Here is a slideshow with some action/fashion shots from the first big high school competition of the season:

Austin Keillor of Hood River took first in the boys varsity.

Here are the top 10 finishers by division, along with their schools and their times:

Girls Varsity

  1. Lucy McLean, Hood River, 31.53
  2. Jenna Jansky, Jesuit, 31.87
  3. Ellie Schmidt, Central Catholic, 32.15
  4. Maddie Lawhead, Lakeridge, 34.07
  5. Anna Lyssa Sassara, West Linn, 34.62
  6. Kelli Clarke, Hood River, 35.72
  7. Sarah Tucker, Lake Oswego, 36.19
  8. Sarah Reimann, St. Mary's, 36.23
  9. Linda Miettin, Southridge, 36.64
  10. Tyler Shipley, West Linn, 36.84

Boys Varsity

  1. Austin Keillor, Hood River, 30.64
  2. Will Reuland, LIncoln, 31.10
  3. Isaac Grebisz, Central Catholic, 32.53
  4. Jack Benzinger, Lakeridge, 32.75
  5. Kevin Gahan, Wilsonville, 33.03
  6. Jordan Reisterer, West Linn, 33.23
  7. Sam Schenk, Riverdale, 33.66
  8. Jeremy Wood, Caitlin Gable, 33.74
  9. Jay Raitt, Cleveland, 33.89
  10. Zachary Torng, Catlin Gable, 33.98

Girls Junior Varsity

  1. Brook Bauer, Lincoln, 27.61
  2. Margaret Sherman, Grant, 27.89
  3. Sophie Hill, Lincoln, 30.26
  4. Susanna Talenti, The Dalles, 32.36
  5. Lisa LeFeber, OES, 33.05
  6. Maddie Rosser, Sunset, 33.48
  7. Rachel Davis, Lincoln, 33.52
  8. Catherine Truszkowski, Jesuit, 33.75
  9. Hannah Malin, Jesuit, 34.48
  10. Carly Savoy, West Linn, 34.51

Boys Junior Varsity

  1. Matthew Reynolds, Lincoln, 28.45
  2. Kodiak Berkoff, Lakeridge, 29.47
  3. Carson Little, Jesuit, 31.31
  4. Connor Wyatt, Lake Oswego, 31.66
  5. Gerick Latham, Central Catholic, 32.47
  6. Bridger Ueeck, Jesuit, 32.49
  7. Oskar Anderson, Hood River, 32.91
  8. Zach Stevens, West Linn, 33.51
  9. Andrew Brinker, Lincoln, 33.78
  10. Torsenn Brown, Hood River, 33.89

For the full results check Live-Timing.

The peak of the race season is due to start up next weekend, but unless we get some serious snow soon there will probably be some cancellations. The three main race trails at Skibowl and Meadows, Challenger, Dogleg and Stadium are all closed as of January 4 for lack of snow. We'll keep you posted.