Asit Rathod knows Mount Hood.
High School Alpine Ski racers will compete on January 2 in a season-opening fun race named in honor of a racer who died at the age of 25 in a tree well accident.
Kelsey's Race is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 2 at Mt. Hood Meadows, and it will serve as an non-league season-starting fun race to prepare high school racers for the season ahead. A similar season-opening race called the Christine Cato Memorial Race was held at Timberline for 25 years and was extremely popular with racers and families.
All Oregon high school racers have been invited to participate in Kelsey's Race, including Central Oregon racers who separated from the Oregon Interscholastic Ski Racing Association over a dispute at state championships a few years ago. The event will feature a dual giant slalom course with two runs per competitor, plus a costume contest emphasizing camaraderie and team spirit.
The race was organized and named in honor of Kelsey Hewitt, daughter of long-time Grant/Cleveland racing coach Randy Hewitt and his wife Elise. Kelsey raced for Grant High School from 2006 to 2009 and later moved to Jackson Hole to ski and work in the Grand Tetons. She died in a tree-well skiing accident in December of 2015 and was remembered as a kind-hearted young woman who was always up for an adventure.
Here is the poster for Kelsey's Race 2017: