Summit lands state half-pipe title

Connors takes second for boys, Meierbachtol third to lead girls

MT. HOOD MEADOWS — Girls basketball: Oregon City. Soccer: Jesuit. Volleyball: Gresham. Baseball: Lakeridge. Snowboarding: Summit.

The Summit Snowboard Team further solidified its place on the list of Oregon high school sports dynasties by winning its fourth consecutive state half-pipe title Saturday.

“Consistency is the key,” assistant coach Steve Grace said. “Consistency and depth. Both our boys and girls teams really stuck together and won this thing as a team.”

But the team’s work is far from done, as it looks to defend its state titles in Slopestyle and Boardercross this weekend. Grace said the team is confident in both events — with Boardercross being the overall strength — but winning Slopestyle will not be easy.

“Winning Slopestyle will definitely be a challenge,” he said. “There are a lot of strong riders and they all have it out for us this year.”

The situation was no different on Saturday, however, and Summit had little trouble breezing to convincing wins on both the boys and girls sides.

Led by third-place overall finisher, Elie Meierbachtol, the girls buried the competition under nearly 15 points in the team standings.

“We’re pretty pleased with the outcome,” Meierbachtol said. “One of the things that has helped us is that our team is so close. We have really developed a good bond and we are always there to support one another. It’s been a fun year.”

Other girls team members who came up huge on the day were Melissa Holmes (fourth), Lisa Page (fifth), and Meghan Ferns (seventh).

With Summit owning four of the top seven finishes, the second- and third-place teams from Lincoln and West Linn didn’t have a chance.

Holly Low (13th) and Jenny Page (17th) only helped accentuate Summit’s grasp on No. 1.

The boys had similar success Saturday, although the race for No. 1 was a lot closer. Led by second-place finisher Ben Connors, Summit out-jumped West Linn by less than four points to take home the big prize.

Much to the team’s surprise, one of the team’s more experienced riders, Connors, fell on his first maneuver and had to regain his composure to stay in the hunt. Not only did he settle his nerves, but he attacked the pipe with reckless abandon to vault himself into second.

“Most kids would have folded after a fall like that, but Ben stayed with it and almost won the event,” Grace said.

Connors finished just one-tenth of a point behind Justin Bemis of West Linn, and will look to put everything on the line this weekend when he tries to defend his Boardercross state title.

Additional results for the boys Saturday were Colin Franger (fifth), Todd Anderson (sixth), Tad Hukari (14th), Jordan Schmidt (17th) and Danny Rawson (29th).

Paul Rovianek and Cam Adams sat out the competition, but will be ready to go this weekend.

“We like our depth and like our chances,” Grace said.

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