Some 250 Oregon high school ski racers converged on Mount Hood March 6-8 for the three days of competition, camaraderie, and crashes for the 2019 Alpine State Championships at Mt. Hood Meadows, hosted by Metro Ski League.
The event featured challenging weather conditions, a beach-themed social at Timberline Lodge, quite a few high-speed crashes, plenty of joking around and good times, and stellar individual performances by state champions Tucker Scroggins of Central Catholic and Samantha Woodring of Oregon Episcopal School (pictured below with her parents).
Day 1: Skier-Cross and Racer Social – ‘I did the splits and twisted my knee. And I went into the netting.’
45 boys and 15 girls signed up for this years’ Skier-Cross event, held on Easy Rider. The course had lots of variety, including an array of bumps, rollers, banked turns and a sizable jump right before the finish line. A decent sized crowd of spectators lined the middle section. Individual time trials in the morning determined the seeding for the brackets for the rest of the day. Once the brackets were laid out, groups of 3 or 4 competed side by side with the top 2 advancing to the next round.
There were a handful of spectacular collisions in the Skier-Cross races, especially amongst the boys. Campbell Brown, from Lakeridge High School, injured his knee in one of the afternoon rounds: “I was skiing and this guy came behind me and ran overmy ski. And my ski got stuck underneath his. And then my outside ski went in the soft snow and then I did the splits and twisted my knee. And I went into the netting.” Campbell was taken down in a ski patrol toboggan, but luckily his injury wasn’t severe enough to keep him from racing in the slalom the next day.
In the end, the girls winner was Samantha Bauer of Lincoln, edging out Taitum Scroggins of Central Catholic (2nd place) and Hannah Biehn of The Dalles (3rd place).
For the boys, Tucker Scroggins of Central Catholic won going away. Said Tucker of his success: “Good starts. Start really well, come down, ski clean, you end up being in front the whole way. No problems and finishing well today.” Tucker’s Central Catholic teammate, Jackson Currier, took the silver and 2017 Skier-X winner, Jihoon Pak of Lakeridge high school, took home the bronze.
The Racer Social, up at historic Timberline Lodge, had a Hawaiian theme this year. Approximately 230 athletes, and 12 chaperones showed up pizza and salad, a talent show, and dancing. Austin Smith from Westview showed off his singing and guitar skills. The St. Mary’s team came up with a humorous racer/skier skit. And rounding out the talent show was a choreographed disco dance roller-skate routine, featuring the racers from Hood River Valley. The rest of the evening was DJ music and mosh pit style dancing to the beat of the music.
Day 2: Boys Slalom, Girls GS – ‘My team, I’m so proud of them’
Winter was in full force on day 2 with snow-filled skies and a packed-powder race surface. The boys’ slalom was held on Stadium. The classic uphill wind on Stadium was in full effect, hitting athletes in their faces as they raced down the mountain. Girls GS was held on Middle Fork, starting at the top of Burial Hill and finishing at the bottom of Showoff. The snow was soft, which kept the course crews busy all day long, trying to keep ruts at a minimum.
In spite of the challenging conditions, the Lakeside girls were all smiles:
The girls GS had a high number of disqualified and/or did-not-finish outcomes, most of the carnage taking place on the steep and challenging “Showoff” section of the course. Of the 102 girl athletes (including the alternates) only 63 girls finished both runs, while 41 either DQ’d or did-not-finish. Isabel Juliana, of Tualatin high school lost control near the finish and crashed into the timing box, injuring her knee cap.
In the end it was Samantha “Sami” Woodring of Oregon Episcopal School winning the GS, successfully defending her 2018 title. “I’m just really happy how everything worked out,” Sami said after the race. “Last time I was here (Meadows State ’17), I didn’t get to compete due to an injury that happened a week before. It’s been a great day. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.” Cailin Gahan of Wilsonville took 2nd place and Josie Petersen of Hood River Valley took 3rd.
The top 3 girls teams in the GS were Summit High School, Oregon Episcopal School and Hood River Valley.
In the Boys slalom, Tucker Scroggins followed up his Skier-cross victory by winning both runs in the slalom. Parker Anderson of Riverdale was 2nd and Riley O’Brian from Summit was 3rd.
The top 3 boys teams in the Slalom were Central Catholic, Lakeridge and Hood River Valley. Tucker Scroggins of Central Catholic was happy with the results: “My team, I’m so proud of them. They’ve came such a long ways over my last 2 years here. Now it’s all being put together.”
Day 3: Girls Slalom, Boys GS – ‘I’m super happy!’
Mother Nature was going to give us a beautiful bluebird day to wrap up the 3-day event. Or so we thought at 7:15 am. Winter returned just about the time they sent the forerunners at 10am.
It was the girls turn at slalom today. Megan Wargo of Tigard high school described the course as “a little bumpy at first, but after that, super fun and smooth.” Josie Petersen of Hood River Valley ended her high school ski racing career with a State Slalom Title. “First run, I was in first by .02 seconds, so I wasn’t too sure about 2nd run. But I had
a good 2nd run and so I ended in first overall. I’m super happy!” Samantha Bauer of Lincoln came in 2nd and Samantha Woodring of OES finished 3rd.
The top 3 girls slalom teams were Hood River Valley, Summit and Lincoln.
Like the girls the day before, the boys had a higher than usual rate of DQ’s and Did-not-finish results in the Giant Slalom. Of 116 total competitors (including alternates), 35 racers didn’t finish both runs with a clean time. Tucker Scroggins finished State ’19 with the hat trick by winning the GS, to go along with his Slalom and Skier-X titles. Riley O’Brian of Summit took 2nd and Ty Glumbik of Lakeridge took 3rd place.
Chris Gray of Central Catholic was tackled by his teammates when he finished his 2nd run and they sang “Happy Birthday” to him as they carried him out of the finish arena. It was his 16th birthday.
The Sunset girls team got in on the fun too:
State Chairperson Jason Hattery said this of the 2019 event: “The races were executed well and on-time, the social was a hit, awards night went smoothly. The surface conditions with all the fresh snow was challenging, and we had the looming threat of Sandy high school (the location of the awards ceremony Friday evening) closing due to snow and ice, but it all worked out thanks to a lot of help from amazing people.”
Complete race results are at http://www.oisra.org/alpine/state-meet-start-orders-and-results.html
The Highlight Video is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZSDH_Q70Cc
Photographer Mike Juliana has action photos of all competitors – available for purchase soon at https://www.mikejulianaphotography.com/Skiracing/2019-Season/OISRA-State-Race
Next year, the 2020 OISRA State races will be hosted by Southern League at Mt. Ashland.
Last modified: March 14, 2019