To set the stage:

“How in the world are we gonna ski in this blizzard?” — Everyone.

OISRA Nordic Ski League State Championships took place last Friday and Saturday. Teams from across Oregon met, tried and tested from the past months and ready to bring home a title. With the United States’ recent Nordic sprint win by Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall, racers had a winning edge to their performance.

Friday was a 6K skate race, and the temperature reached single digits as the clouds overtook the sun and winds ruffled the snow from the trees — and yes, the grey jays did leap. Saturday was a 4.5K classic race, and the sheer temperatures and billowing snow heightened the skiers’ urgency to get done and back in the lodge.

Representing Hood River in the top spots for Friday’s skate race, HRV freshman Jo Dickinson placed 12th in 18:47, and HRV senior Finn Peterson placed 12th in 16:21. For Saturday’s classic race, Peterson placed ninth in 16:10, securing 11th in the overall competition, and HRV senior Muir Emmons placed 13th in 16:19.

With a true Cascade year of Nordic skiing, HRVHS gave its all over the past few months of training and racing. The team has seen its members become adept and competitive athletes. All of this and more was achieved with the management of Joe Dolan, Bonnie Lambert, and a collective of HRV parents and supporters. A big thanks to the Mt. Hood Meadows Nordic Center team for hosting races and keeping parents off the sidelines every other weekend, and to Teacup Nordic Trails for giving the HRVHS team a place to send and savor every day of the winter on skis.

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