carolina-maienza

Carolina Maienza of Lincoln High races her way to first place in the slalom. Photo by Mike Juliana

High school racers from all over Oregon descended on Mt. Hood Meadows last week for a lively two days of racing, socializing and cheering on their teammates in warm, spring-like weather.

It was the second season in a row bogged down by canceled races from Skibowl to Willamette Pass to Mt. Ashland, and snow pack was too thin to build courses on the usual racing run on Stadium. But few if any of the racers seemed to mind the blue skies and bright sunshine as the races unfolded. Organizers built a slalom course up on Shooting Star Ridge and an entertaining giant slalom down Voyager to Gemini, and about 200 racers shredded the gates with all they had.

In the end Hood River Valley came out on top overall, followed by Lincoln, Jesuit, Lake Oswego, Corvallis, Central Catholic, Sunset, Sandy and Oregon Episcopal School.

In a showdown of two top-tier young racers with big-time potential, Ashlay Ruddick of Lakeridge narrowly edged out Trevor Maxwell of West Linn to win the individual combined for the men. Ruddick won the giant slalom Thursday and Maxwell won the slalom Friday, with Ruddick's margin of victory slightly larger to ensure the combined victory.

Austin Keillor of Hood River took second in the slalom and third overall.

Lucy McLean, also of Hood River, was the overall winner for the women, taking second in the slalom and first in the giant slalom. Ellie Schmidt of Central Catholic took second in the combined, followed by Kate Christofferson of La Salle in third.

Carolina Maienza of Lincoln won the women's slalom with exceptionally smooth skiing, but she did not compete in the giant slalom.

Here are a few action shots from photographer Mike Juliana, who has a large collection of racing photos from states available for purchase on his website.

Here's Mike's shot of Beeck Thurman of La Grande carving a nice slalom turn Friday:

And here is a lively video by Robin Cressy, showing some highlights from a week of racing, freestyle tricks and fun:

Full team and individual results for the 2015 Oregon State Alpine Racing Championships can be found at stateskirace.com.