Skiing hits the slopes

Racers of the Hood River Valley Nordic Ski Team pose for a photo during the Teacup Classic last Saturday.

The season of skiing has arrived, and in fact has been underway for over a month now. Teams have dusted off their skis and snow boots, events have been organized and races have been run. The Cooper Spur Alpine Team, Hood River Valley Nordic Ski Team and Meadows Race Team have all begun their competitive seasons and held events last weekend.

The Meadows Race Team (MRT) hosted the Meadows Challenge Race, an event with more than 250 racers aged 5 through 13. The event was graced with pristine snow surfaces thanks to volunteers from all participating clubs and the Mt. Hood Meadows slopes director, who spent the last four years grooming Olympic sites in PyeongChang, Korea. John Rust, program director of MRT, commented on the efforts of his athletes.

“Our athletes rose to the occasion with Olympic inspired skiing, thanks to the caliber at which the slopes are prepared,” said Rust.

The Cooper Spur Alpine Team (CSAT) participated in the Meadows Challenge at Mt. Hood Meadows, an event featuring both slalom and giant slalom skiing, which are disciplines in alpine skiing.

CSAT did well, with Hood River locals Camera Beck placing first in U8 boys and Wahtoo Pfreim and Harrison Kunkler placing first and second, respectively, in slalom for U10 boys. The team also earned first place for U12 girls on both days, with Vaivoda-Kerr first on Saturday in giant slalom and Annable Webster first on Sunday in slalom.

For HRV Nordic, the event was a home turf race known as the Teacup Classic OSIRA Nordic race, a 5k classic style with interval starts. The boys team had a tough outing against strong teams from Bend and Summit, who locked up the first seven spots before HRV’s Per Bergstrom came in eighth with a time of 15:14. He was followed by teammates Ben Kaden in 10th, Marshall Bailey in 22nd, Sean Arpag in 35th and Ethan Fowler in 38th. The boys finished third overall in team standings.

In a field of 85 girls, the HRV team had a strong showing, placing fourth in team standings. Sophie Kaden led the team by placing 16th, followed by teammate Emma Kelly in 20th, Celia Acosta in 23rd, Luka Pader in 30th and Lyric Emmons in 31st. Ten additional HRV girls followed in placings, only minutes behind each other.

Both teams will continue competing in events through the winter months and beyond, should the weather continue to blanket the slopes.

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