With the final league race of the season Saturday at Skibowl and league awards to follow the same day, Hood River Valley High School Ski Team is all but assured a clean sweep in both team and individual league championship honors.
At the most recent league race — giant slalom at Mt. Hood Meadows — HRV girls claimed the top three positions in the order of Lucy McLean, Korey Cimock and Kelli Clark, while the boys had five in the top 10 including the No. 1 slot by Austin Keillor to again show the rest of the league that the Eagles are intent on repeating their claim as the best high school racers on the mountain.
“We are dominant in the Mt. Hood League,” coach Scott Keillor commented. “After our final league race Saturday, we will be training hard for the state championship.”
The state championships will be March 6-7 at Mt. Hood Meadows, with slalom one day and GS the other. On the girls side, Cimock will make a return as the defending combined state champion, but will have to fend off McLean if she wants a repeat of that title. Last season McLean beat out Cimock for the overall league title but chose to compete in the U18 Western Regional Championships instead of high school state.
Expect a similar in-house rivalry between Keillor, William Lamer and the trio of Chase Lariza, Patrick Crompton and Charlie Sutherland. Keillor has been nearly unbeatable thus far this season but doesn’t have a state title under his belt since he too opted to race in higher-caliber regional rather than high school contests.
Lamar and Crompton were last year’s top league finishers for the boys lineup, with Lamar coming in second overall (behind The Dalles skier Eli Holeman) and Crompton earning the Ski Meister award given to the skier with the best combined freestyle, GS and slalom results.
Feb. 15 highlights (times are two-run combined):
Top five girls: 1st, Lucy McLean (52.65); 2nd, Korey Cimock (53.33); 3rd, Kelli Clarke (55.78); 17th, Hannah Bergemann (1:07.88);
Top five boys: 1st, Austin Keillor (51.33); 3rd, William Lamar (53.66); 4th, Charlie Sutherland (54.61); 5th, Chase Lariza, 55.23; 8th, Patrick Crompton (58.57)
The HRVHS freestyle ski team has its eye on a clean sweep at the state level as well. After what has thus far been a lackluster season for both numbers and caliber of outside competitors, Hood River skiers will likely find themselves in battles against one another in the March 3-4 state championships at Meadows. With a halfpipe not expected to be completed in time, the six HRV skiers selected for the state team will compete in boardercross and rail jam events March 3 and slopestyle March 4.
Coach Mike FitzSimons said that although a few teams across the state have some freestyle talent, he’s expecting the battle for the podium to be largely amongst Hood River skiers.