By BEN MCCARTY
News staff writer
Don't fear, Hood River Valley skiing fans, all is right with the world again.
One week after losing its first race in nearly a decade, the Hood River Valley girls ski team bounced back to win its final regular season race and capture the Mt. Hood Ski League title.
"It did look like the world was spinning off its axis for a bit there," chuckled HRV coach Peter Nance
The HRV boys also picked up a league title, with both teams finishing the regular season with a 5-1 record.
Nance said the Feb. 12 loss, which saw both HRV teams finish in second place, served as a wake-up call to his team that it wouldn't simply be able to roll over its competition.
"That's exactly what it was," he said.
Nance said that while the rest of the league picked up the talent level this year, the Eagles were going through a reconstruction.
"On the girls side there isn't a single senior," he said.
However, he added that the closing of the competition gap may work out better for the Eagles in the long run.
"It's a lot more fun to win a well-fought contest," he said.
All the league teams raced in brutal weather conditions at Mt. Hood Meadows' Middlefork run Saturday.
The conditions were so bad that the mountain was closed until nearly 10 a.m., the intended start time for the race.
The lifts opened up long enough for race organizers to set the course and racers to get in one run.
But with strong winds still gusting, they elected to call the race after just one run.
One run was enough time for the HRV skiers to win the day.
The Eagle girls took the top two spots and six of the top 10 while the HRV boys took the top three spots and six of the top 11.
"All the kids did amazingly well," Nance said.
Megan Sears took first for the HRV girls with a time 48.99, with Korey Cimock taking second in 49.32.
Molly Clarke was fifth, Kirra Paulus sixth, Hannah Mears seventh and Saide Shepard 10th to round out the top HRV finishers.
In the final season standings, Cimock and Sears flipped, with Cimock finishing first overall in the combined event title and Spears taking second.
For the HRV boys, Pierce Whalen was first Saturday with a time of 45.97, Cade Scroggins second at 47.13 and Callum Brock third at 48.72.
Ryan Colesar took sixth, Eric Nance 10th and Kevin Lund 11th.
In the final combined season standings, Whalen also took first and Scroggins second while Brock took fourth.
The Eagles also won the league freestyle championship on both the boys and girls sides.
The skiers now are off to state at Mount Bachelor, where the freestyle championships will be held Wednesday and the racing championships Thursday and Friday.
After spending all of last year at Meadows, and this year at Meadows and Ski Bowl, Nance wants to see how his team does on a different mountain in new conditions.
"Terrain makes a big, big difference," he said. "We're going to find out how much. You want to be at a different mountain sometimes; it's a fun environment and all the kids get to see new kids."