It’s been a good season so far for the Hood River Valley ski team.
The team, enjoying a bye week (from competition at least), has a firm hold on the Mt. Hood League through four alpine competitions — two slaloms and two giant slaloms. The boys team is in first place with 40 points, beating out Cleveland (32), Sandy (22), The Dalles (16), and Grant (10). The girls team is also in first place, with 40 points, ahead of St. Mary’s (32), Sandy (22), Cleveland (18), and The Dalles. Both teams are undefeated.
In the combined standings, HRV, with 80 points, has a 30-point lead over Cleveland. With two races remaining before the end of the regular season and with 10 points awarded for a win (20 if both boys and girls win), HRV nearly has the Mt. Hood League locked up.
Leading the charge for HRV and the entire boys’ side of the Mt. Hood League is senior Montana Kurahara, who has placed first in every competition so far this season. With 400 points, Kurahara is far ahead of the skier in the second-place slot, Jay Raitt, of Cleveland, who has 260 points. Cracking the top 10 on the individual standings for HRV include William Lamer (fourth, 170), Charles Sutherland (fifth, 154) and Carter Rigert (10th, 91).
For the girls, frosh Josie Petersen is No. 1 for HRV and second overall in the individual standings with 320 points, finishing second in every competition so far this season. She’s 80 points behind Madison High’s Caroline Mueller, who has placed first in every race this year. Other HRV skiers in the top 10 are Paris Nunn (third, 154), Erin Sutherland (seventh, 135), Sarah Hall (eighth, 134), and Jesse Nunn (ninth, 113).
The team also has two associate team members in the top 10: Colin Howe of Columbia High (third on the boys individual standings, 210) and Mattea Schwab of Horizon Christian (fourth on the girls individual standings, 152).
Head Coach Scott Keillor had nothing but high praise for his team, telling his athletes after their most recent race that, “You are all skiing great and making your team and school proud.”
The team last raced Jan. 31 — a giant slalom at Ski Bowl. The team’s next two races are at Mt. Hood Meadows: a slalom on Feb. 13 and a giant slalom Feb. 20 to close out the regular season. After those races, based on scoring and points, coaches will take the top six HRV boys and girls, as well as the top three Mt. Hood League individual finishers to Mt. Ashland March 2-4 for the state championships (racers must have participated in at least 50 percent of the regular season races to be eligible).
Ski Bowl Giant Slalom Jan. 31
HRV boys individual results
Montana Kurahara (1st, 1 minute, 12.47 seconds)
William Lamer (3rd, 1:16.89)
Christopher McElwee (4th, 1:17.33)
Carter Rigert (6th, 1:19.28)
Charles Sutherland (17th, 1:30.61)
Mitchell Lamer (20th, 1:33.34)
(Overall winner, Caroline Mueller, Madison, 1:15.95)
Josie Petersen (2nd, 1:17.37)
Erin Sutherland (3rd, 1:19.48)
Paris Nunn (8th, 1:25.35)
Sarah Hall (9th, 1:25.65)
Nicolette Paulus (10th, 1:25.77)
Jesse Nunn (11th, 1:26.33)
(Mattea Schwab, of Horizon, placed 4th with a time of 1:25.01)