2018-state-race

Competitors whoop it up for the return of state to Mount Bachelor. Photo by Robin Cressy

Editor’s Note: Over 230 athletes competed as the Oregon Interscholastic Ski Racing Association returned to Mt Bachelor March 7-9 for the Oregon High School Alpine Ski Race State Championships for the first time since 2011. Reporter and videographer Robin Cressy was on the scene, and contributes the following report.

It was great to be back at Mt Bachelor for the state championships. The video highlights at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PH1tXlOuA_w will give you a sense of just how lively and fun this event was. Here's a quick day-by-day rundown of the action, with some team and individual race results.

Day 1: Skier Cross. 
This is an event most of us only see on TV every 4 years when the Winter Olympics are going on. OISRA has Skier-Cross listed under their freestyle umbrella, along with slopestyle and rail jam.  There are no qualifications for Skier-Cross.  Racers just have to sign up and show up at the Start.  By a show of hands, it appeared that roughly 80% of those competing this year had never attempted a Skier-Cross course before this event.  Roughly 40 boys and 20 girls competed on this short but challenging course. 

Lots of high banked turns and a double camel bump right before the finish line. Many competitors were launching from the first bump all the way thru the finish line, some 30+ feet below. There were mid-course collisions, racers crashing over safety fences and some crazy finish line wrecks that made for an entertaining spectacle for those watching. After a morning time trial, competitors were lumped into brackets of 4, with the top 2 finishers advancing to the next round, until the final 4 go at it. Last years’ girls winner, Nicole Danilevsky, of Lake Oswego high school, repeated as Champion. Said Nicole: “I definitely did not start well on any of my runs. However, I kind of passed people like in between, and I think that like, I don’t know, just like the determination of trying to get first is kind of what pushes me.”  The boys event ended with some excellent drama and a photo finish. Jesuit high school’s Aidan Kearney was declared the winner with a slight edge over Kirili Myagkow from Oak Hill (OSSA).  Just watch the video and you’ll see the drama unfold. 

Day 2:  Girls GS, Boys Slalom. 
The forecast for Thursday called for extremely high winds, so the races were moved from “Thunderbird” to “I-5”, which was skiers’ right of the Rainbow chairlift.   I-5 was described by State Race Chairman Spencer Raymond as “Easy Rider X 4”, referring to the not-so-challenging run over at Mt Hood Meadows.  The GS for the girls had 2-3 gates in the flats right out of the start gate before rolling over to a steeper section where gravity was more prevalent.  It was key to have a good skate coming out of the start to establish some momentum.    Boys had a similar flat start for their race.  Race strategies from a few racers:  Ziggy Berkoff of Jesuit: “I think I’m gonna take a high line, but it’s also kind of flat, so I’m gonna skate a lot at the top and get some speed.”  Erika Anderson of Hood River Valley: “I’m just gonna go for it.”  Southern league head coach Gary King: “They need to accelerate through the transition, because we had to switch over to a little bit flatter course, so it’s really gonna come down to how much you can create speed going through that GS course.  For the boys, just tear it up, go as straight as you can.”

Tucker Scroggins, of Central Catholic, dominated the boys slalom, winning both runs by a significant margin. The key?  “Looking for speed, probably. I really searched for speed like I would do in a speed race.  A little bit of extra weight too on all the competitors, so that was good.”  Tucker also plays varsity football at Central Catholic. 

Sami Woodring of OES, won the girls GS.  Sami injured her knee on the way to the course at the 2016 State Championships at Mt. Ashland as a freshman, so didn’t compete and was also injured last year.  She’s now a junior. 

Individual 
Girls GS: 
1st place Sami Woodring, OES 
2nd place : Cailin Gahan, Wilsonville 
3rd place: Keely Buchanan, Summit

Team Girls GS: 1st place: Hood River 
2nd place: Summit
 3rd place: West Linn

Boys Slalom Team:
 1st place: Lakeridge 
2nd place: Central Catholic
 3rd place: Summit

Individual 
Boys Slalom
: 1st place:  Tucker Scroggins 
2nd place: Jihoon Pak, Lakeridge
 3rd place: Ty Zuber, Summit

Day 3: Boys GS, Girls slalom
Visibility looked a little marginal in the morning, looking up the Pine Martin chairlift. A bit windy up top, snowing, foggy. Thunderbird is steep and challenging. None of the Portland area high school ski leagues had raced on anything steep this year leading up to State due to the marginal snowpack at Mt Hood, so Thunderbird was going to test their ability to adapt. The Mt Ashland area kids didn’t have snow until very late in the season, having to move their league races to Mt Bachelor. 

Friday’s races went off without too many struggles. The weather improved as they day went on.  The fast skiers won, a few people crashed, and everybody had a good time (probably).  What could be better than ski racing down the mountain with friends and teammates while missing 3 days of school?

RESULTS

Individual 
Boys GS
: 1st place: Tucker Scroggins, Central Catholic
 2nd place: Kirili Myagkow, Oak Hill
 3rd place: Jihoon Pak, Lakeridge

Boys GS team:
 1st place: Lakeridge 
2nd place: Central Catholic
 3rd place:  Jesuit

Girls individual slalom:
 1st place: Sami Woodring, OES
 2nd place: Kiera Bertell, Wilsonville 
3rd place: Jose Peterson, Hood River

Girls Slalom team:
 1st place:  Ashland
 2nd place: Summit 
3rd place: Hood River

Girls individual combined:
 1st place: Sami Woodring, OES
 2nd place: Josie Peterson, Hood River 
3rd place: Kiera Bertell, Wilsonville



Boys individual combined:
 1st place:  Tucker Scroggins, Central Catholic
2nd place: Jihoon Pak, Lakeridge
3rd place: Ty, Glumbik, Lakeridge



Boys team combined: 
1st place: Lakeridge
 2nd place: Central Catholic
 3rd place: Summit

Girls team combined:
1st place: Summit 
2nd place: Hood River 
3rd place:  Ashland



Combined Boys/Girls team:
 1st place: Summit
 2nd place: Hood River 
3rd place: Lakeridge

The complete results can be found here:
 https://www.oisra.org/alpine/state-meet-start-orders-and-results.html

The 2018 State Championship awards ceremony took place at Bend’s Tower Theater. The place was packed full of racers, parents, coaches, volunteers, and the special guest keynote speaker was former OISRA racer and current U.S. ski team racer Jackie Wiles.  Jackie competed for Camby High School ski team as a freshman, in 2007, winning the slalom State Championship at Mt Ashland and has gone on to earn a spot on the podium at World Cup races. She told her story of coming up through the ranks of junior racing all the way to the World Cup and Olympics (2014 in Sochi and unfortunately injured a week or so before the Pyeongchang Olympics last month ).  Jackie has two world cup downhill podium finishes on her resume now, and a bright future moving forward. After her speech, she stuck around and signed autographs and took photos with racers. 

Summit high school won the coveted Boys/Girls combined team title, receiving a standing ovation from the audience.