Due to the lack of snow this year, The Dalles ski team has missed out on every race on its schedule, except one, which meant coach Dane Klindt’s crew had to pull double duty last Sunday in a pair of giant slalom runs on the Paintbrush Course at Timberline Ski Resort.
The first race was a normal two-run event and the second race ended up being a one-run finish.
In the opening giant slalom, Maddie Gragg posted the girls’ best outcome with sixth place, while the duo of Louis Red Cloud and Matt Gragg posted top-12 finishes to lead the boys.
“Louis skied great and has risen up to show the rest of the league that Dufur has a true contender,” TD head coach Dane Klindt said. “The same can be said for freshman Maddie Gragg and senior Matt Gragg, both from South Wasco County.”
Of the 32 male skiers, Red Cloud had a time of 57.70 seconds for 10th place, but then rallied on his final attempt to a seventh-best 57.08 to chalk up eighth place overall with a 1:54.78, just 10.51 seconds behind first-place winner, Christopher McElwee, of Hood River Valley (1:44.27) and runner-up, Brady Layman, from Barlow (1:44.61).
Matt Gragg timed out in 59.54 and rebounded for a 56.52, sixth-best in the field, to garner his total to 1:56.06 and 12th place.
The only other TD skier to complete two turns was George Harrison, who posted runs of 1:10.00 and 1:11.44 for a 2:21.44 to lock down 25th place.
Ethan Martin did not finish his opening attempt, but tacked on a 1:10.64 in his second time around.
Those three completed times gave TD a 6:11.48 for fifth place in the team standings, 44.71 seconds shy of Hood River Valley (5:26.77).
Sandy (5:35.33), Grant (6:00.34), Cleveland (6:03.39), TD (6:11.48) and Benson (6:42.52) made up the team marks.
Maddie Gragg picked a first time of 56.35 to kick off her day and she followed up with a 58.42 for a 1:54.77, which put her sixth place, just a shade more than 10 seconds from individual girls’ winner, Erin Sutherland, of Hood River Valley, who posted a 1:44.66.
Hood River Valley’s Erika Anderson secured second place individually after adding a 1:46.53 and teammate Josie Peterson put out a 1:48.48 to clinch third place.
After Maddie Gragg, Petra van Kessel-Ervin went for runs of 1:05.20 and 1:07.25 to take hold of her 2:12.45 and 16th place, Hannah Biehn notched a 1:12.58 and a 1:19.28 for a 2:31.86 to grab 22nd place.
“Petra and Hannah both stepped up and Petra will be pushing top-10 soon,” Klindt said.
On the team side, Hood River Valley scored top honors in the five-team field with its 5:19.77, besting St. Mary’s Academy (5:42.50) by 22.73 seconds.
Sandy (6:15.72), Cleveland (6:21.97) and The Dalles (6:39.08) were the last three groups in the standings.
With the contributions of Addie Klindt and Emma Diede, coach Klindt liked what he saw from his top trio.
“Only having three racers last weekend, it was important that all three skied well to get a team time,” coach Klindt said. “That added a lot of pressure to the girls, but all of them did great and went out and skied their best. I was very proud of the way they handled the pressure.”
Once the first set of events came to a close, the Mount Hood Ski league teams prepped themselves for the next race, which added even more drama with only one trip.
Red Cloud showed his resolve in the second event, where he turned in a 55.62, putting him at seventh place in the individual standings.
Matt Gragg notched 14th place after a 57.15, Martin kicked into high gear with a 1:08.46 to get 26th place, and Harrison hit 1:10.50 for 28th place, 19.57 seconds behind overall winner, Lyman (50.93), from Barlow.
“Louis was the boys’ standout, but Ethan and George are continuing to improve,” coach Klindt said.
McElwee (51.16) garnered second place, Colson Zack, also from Hood River Valley, placed third with his 52.78 and London Madrid finished third at 54.25.
Staked by the times of McElwee, Zack and Mitchell Lamer (56.36), Hood River Valley pulled out another victory, just 4.3 seconds ahead of second-place Sandy (2:44.60).
Cleveland (2:51.96), Grant (2:54.45) and TD (3:01.23) were the top-five boys’ teams. Benson and Franklin did not have enough completed runs to submit a team mark.
Maddie Gragg hit her top time in the second giant slalom event with a 57.15 to secure eight place, out of 27 female participants.
Van Kessel-Ervin tallied 14th place after a 1:05.10 and Biehn went the distance for a 1:18.52 to finish 24th amongst the competition.
Hood River Valley swept the second race with the top-3 racers, led by Sutherland (51:47), Anderson (52.25) and Peterson (54.00).
With that group, the HRV squad racked up another second-place outcome at 2:37.72, more than 13 seconds better than St. Mary’s Academy (2:51.40).
Sandy (3:10.52), Cleveland (3:11.30) and The Dalles (3:20.77) completed the girls’ team standings.
“It was great to finally have a full-length (36 gate) giant slalom,” coach Klindt added. “Because of the lack of snow, finding venues has been very difficult.”
TD had a slalom race in Meadows this past Saturday, and on Monday, most of the skiers are slated to participate in Skiercross on Monday at Meadows.