With three returning state champions, a filled-out roster and momentum carried over from last season’s success, the outlook is good as the Hood River Valley ski team prepares for its first race of the season in a couple weeks.
Senior Korey Cimock and junior Lucy McLean return to the lineup and are favored to be two of the best female downhill racers in the state. Last season the duo dominated their competition, finishing one-two (McLean, Cimock) overall in the Mt. Hood League championships to propel the girls team to a repeat league title. Cimock went on to win the overall state title with third-place GS and second-place slalom finishes, while McLean opted to compete in the U18 Western Regional Championships instead.
On the boys side, sophomore William Lamar and junior Patrick Crompton return as the team’s top district finishers. Last season Lamar finished second in slalom, third in GS and second overall, while Crompton was awarded the respectable Ski Meister award, given to the skier with the best combined freestyle, GS and slalom results.
Representing the burgeoning HRV freestyle program are returning state champion Kayla VanHoose and runner-up Hannah Bergemann and boys state champion Tucker FitzSimons.
Now in its third year running through the Oregon Interscholastic Ski Racing Association structure, the high school freestyle program has thus far been dominated by HRVHS, which takes full advantage of having Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort — and its terrain parks, halfpipe and skiercross course — just a short drive away. As with last season, OISRA will hold a split state championship, with freestyle and downhill events held consecutive weekends so athletes can compete in both if they qualify.
The Eagles, guided by returning head coach Scott Keillor, start their season Jan. 4 with the annual Christine Cato Memorial Race at Timberline Ski Area. The season continues with weekend races and freestyle events through February before league and state races. Freestyle competitors have the added benefit of being able to compete in extracurricular events like the Mt. Hood Meadows Rail Jam Series, held Saturday nights through the season.