Asit Rathod knows Mount Hood.
High school racers were treated to a sunny day of racing on Friday, March 7 to end a challenging year on a good note, as the Jesuit girls and the West Linn boys defended their state championships with strong performances in GS and slalom.
High school alpine teams have struggled to stage races all year with not enough snow in Oregon followed by too much snow. The state championships were moved from Willamette Pass to Mt. Hood Meadows because Willamette Pass has struggled with snow conditions all season. It hasn't exactly been a picnic on Hood either, and racing conditions were brutal on Thursday, with poor visibility and winds gusting to 60 miles an hour. But then on Friday the sun came out and it was warm and mellow for the racers and their families.
Here's a photo of Central Catholic freshman Isaac Grebisz ripping the giant slalom Friday in perfect racing conditions on his way to taking sixth in the combined. This and all of the following photos were shot by action photographer Mike Juliana.
After the course was down and the kids had gotten in some freeskiing, about 400 racers, coaches and family members crowded into the Vertical Restaurant for pizza and a rowdy awards ceremony.
Jenna Jansky led a strong Jesuit girls squad by winning the slalom, the giant slalom and the combined. Her sister Molly was also a top 10 finishers in all three events, leading Jesuit to a clean sweep in the girls events as well as the overall combined trophy for boys and girls.
Here's a Mike Juliana pic of Jenna Jansky with her medals:
Phoebe Rogers of South Eugene won the slalom and took second in the GS and combined despite having limited training opportunities on her home mountain this season. Here she is out on the course, shredding it:
The West Linn boys also swept all the team racing events despite a rare error by star racer Trevor Maxwell. Maxwell had won every high school race he entered all season and was up by several seconds after one run in Thursday's slalom when he straddled a gate on his second run. His teammates finished strong to win the team slalom nonetheless, and Maxwell bounced back to win the giant slalom on Friday by a wide margin.
Maxwell, a West Linn junior, trains year round on Mount Hood with the Cascade Winter Sports Club and recently competed in his first FIS race in Montana. He will be a favorite to win any high school race he competes in next season.
Ashlay Ruddick of Lakeridge raced to first in the slalom on Thursday and second in the combined.
Jack Botti of Sunset took second in both the slalom and the GS, and first in the combined.
William Lamer of Hood River finished third in the combined, his teammate Austin Keillor was fourth and Jordan Reisterer was fifth.
Parkrose's one-person racing team, Emily Sarich, finished sixth in the GS and third in slalom to take third in the combined.
Anna Sassara of West Linn came in eighth in the GS and fourth in the slalom for fourth in the combined.
Ellie Schmidt of Central Catholic came in fifth in the GS, slalom and the combined.
Will Reuland of Lincoln, who finished third in the Oregon freestyle skiing championships earlier in the week, rebounded from a crash in the slalom Thursday to finish seventh in the GS FRiday, good enough to win the Skimeister award for excellence in both freestyle skiing and racing.
Hanah Bergemann of Hood River won the Skimeister award for the girls.
The top five finishers in overall team competition were all Mount Hood-based teams:
Here is a nice group shot by Mike Juliana of the winning Jesuit racers:
For full results check the website of the Oregon Interscholastic Racing Association.
To pre-order a 2014 state race photo bundle from Mike Juliana for $55, click here.