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Locals go for broke at big-time races

By ADAM LAPIERRE

News staff writer

March 22, 2006

The slopes of Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort will be brimming this week with the top 13-and 14-year-old-racers in the Western region, racing in one of the most elite events in the country for young downhill skiers. The 2006 Chevrolet J3 Junior Olympics kicks off Thursday and runs into the weekend, with racers from Alaska, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming competing for slalom, giant slalom and super-G titles.

And representing Hood River in the cream-of-the-crop event will be Cooper Spur Race Team members and Hood River Valley High School students Isaac Bubb and Tanner Boudreau. Bubb qualified high in the boys’ division with his second-place showing at last season’s Snowbird, Utah, Junior Olympics and Boudreau, who is also a top-notch local racer, was chosen as an alternate for the four-day race.

The event, which will bring more than 200 young racers and 250 volunteers to Mount Hood for the week, will be hosted by the Meadows Race Team. The MRT has had two seasons to prepare for the event, after it was relocated last season from Meadows to Snowbird due to lack of snow in the Cascades.

“The Meadows Race Team is very excited to welcome the best in the West,” commented MRT Program Director Nigel Loring. “MRT’s race crew is a highly experienced group with a proven track record of hosting professionally run events. We have the proven skills, experience and resources necessary to put on a truly ‘classic’ event.”

Also representing Hood River in upcoming top-level youth ski racing are Fletcher Hukari and Joe Scanzo. The two will race in the Western Regional Championships, which is essentially the same as the Junior Olympics but for racers ages 15-18. Hukari, from the Cooper Spur Race Team, and Scanzo, from the Meadows Race Team, were selected to represent the Northwest region in the Mt. Schweitzer, Idaho, event, which is also this week.

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