MT. HOOD MEADOWS — The Summit Snowboard Team took on more than just the Gorge League at the Feb. 9 Slopestyle event.
They took on gravity — and won.
Lisa Page, Melissa Holmes and Meghan Ferns defied both gravity and convention to lead the girls Varsity I team to a convincing 10-point win over Barlow. Page won the competition by nearly two whole points (23.1), while Holmes tied for second (21.7) and Ferns finished fourth (21.4).
Tessa Kelleher and Julia Rowland also put together strong runs and finished tied for 10th place. Grace Rickenbach, competing for the JV squad, surpassed two of her varsity teammates to place seventh. Mandy Henderson finished in 13th.
Meanwhile, on the boys’ side, Jordan Schmidt, Todd Anderson and Ben Connors overcame an unorthodox course and flat landings to propel the boys Varsity I team to a narrow one-tenth-of-a-point victory, also over Barlow.
“It was a really close race toward the top (of the standings),” said Paul Rovianek, who finished in 12th place with 26.3 points. “We barely made it, but it was a good day overall. The thing about our team is that everyone is really strong. It’s not just one person.”
That depth was evidenced in the standings, as Summit claimed six of the top 12 places to eke out the win. Schmidt led the way with 28.9 points, good for fourth place, while Anderson finished fifth at 27.7 and Connors right behind him at 27.4.
Colin Franger, Finny England and Rovianek were all within four-tenths of a point to finish 10-11-12. England competed for the Varsity II team, which took third in the team standings. Joining him on the VII team were Matt McClure (15th), David Kelleher (16th), Josh Blanchette (28th), Sean Ritter (40th) and Danny Rawson (44th).
Other top boys finishes on the day were Isaac Stranz of Varsity 3 (17th), Michael Clement of V3 (20th), Ben Holmes of JV I (24th), Cam Adams of V3 (30th) and Chris Perry of V3 (33rd).
The Summit boys and girls teams also competed in a Boardercross race this week — a make-up for the Jan. 26 event that was snowed out.
Just as they have done in every event this season, both teams peaked at the right time Thursday to win going away.
For boys Varsity I, Connors finished first with a time of 26.5 seconds, while Rovianek took fourth (27.21 seconds), Franger sixth (27.42) and Tad Hukari eighth (27.86). Schmidt (13th, 28.48) and Adams (15th, 28.78) rounded out the VI results.
“Boardercross is definitely our strength right now,” Rovianek said. “We all rode well Thursday.”
The boys Varsity II team earned a third-place finish behind strong performances by Anderson (9th, 27.87), McClure (14th, 28.61), Stranz (17th, 28.98) and Rawson (20th, 29.55). Also for VII, David Kelleher finished 29th (30.83) and Neal Regentin 30th (30.98).
Similar to the boys, the girls VI team had little trouble skating away with first place, earning third through seventh places to outdistance Barlow.
Team captain Jenny Page made her return to the hill after an early-season injury to take third overall (31.66). Sister Lisa was right behind in fourth (32.33), while Ferns (5th, 33.2), Elie Meierbachtol (6th, 33.3) and Holmes (7th, 34.59) completed a sweep of the middle standings. Tessa Kelleher rounded out the VI times with a 35.55, good for ninth overall.
Meierbachtol, one of the team’s top performers, missed Saturday’s Slopestyle due to a hip injury, but appears to be back on track. She hopes to be tuned up for the team’s half pipe competition on Feb. 23.