The Dalles skiers, posted three top-20 times at Mount Hood Meadows aboard the Gemini Course last weekend, led by a ninth-place run from Maddie Gragg. In the picture are, from left to right, Jacob Buell, Addie Klindt, Maddie Gragg, Petra Ervin, Ethan Martin, George Harrison, Emma Diede, Hannah Biehn, In the back row is Matt Gragg. Not pictured are Louis Red Cloud and Ian Fitzgerald.
While the lack of snow has made it a challenge for all ski teams to train, the show went on without a hitch for slalom runs this past Saturday.
On the Gemini Course at Meadows, freshman Maddie Gragg had a good start to her ski career with ninth place, and the duo of Louis Red Cloud and Matt Gragg pulled out top-20 finishes, out of a field of 38.
Maddie Gragg had runs of 45.85 and 46.11 seconds for her 1:31.96, 15.26 seconds behind overall leader, Erin Sutherland, of Hood River Valley (1:16.70).
“Maddie put two great runs together. For her first high school race, she nailed it,” TD coach Dane Klindt said. “The Maupin freshman is going to be moving on up in the league.”
Red Cloud, from Dufur, scored the best time of the group of six TD skiers with a two-run time of 1:37.17 to lock down 18th place.
Two spots behind, Matt Gragg posted a 45.66 and then tallied a 52.92 to get a 1:38.58 for 20th place, 21:06 seconds behind the male leader, Nils Streedain, out of Franklin (1:17.52).
Ethan Martin ended up 25th following his 1:52.72, as the last TD skier to finish a pair of runs.
George Harrison (55.31 on second run) and Jacob Buell (1:03.17 on first attempt) could only finish one run apiece, to give The Dalles a total time of 5:08.47 to wrap up fifth place in the standings.
“Louis, Matt and Ethan struggled with a run, but kept it together to bring in solid times, and George blew out his first run, but pulled it together for his second,” Klindt said.
With the times of Christopher McElwee (1:18.19), Nash Levy (1:18.95), Mitchell Lamer (1:20.40) and Colson Zack (1:20.83), the Hood River Valley boys’ team claimed first place, ahead of Sandy (4:07.11), Cleveland (4:30.47), Grant (4:32.74) and The Dalles (5:08.47).
After Maddie Gragg, Emma Diede scored a times of 59.54 and 58.62 for a 1:58.16 to secure 22nd place, Addie Klindt went for runs of 1:09.14 and 52.92 to get her 2:02.06 and 24th place, and Hannah Biehn put out 25th place times of 1:01.34 and 1:01.53 for a combined 2:02.87.
Petra Ervin did not finish her first attempt, but rebounded for a 49.10 on her second attempt, which was 15th-best out of the 34 participants.
“Emma put two solid runs together, Addie went out on her first run, but managed to finish by skiing a very solid, conservative run,” coach Klindt said. “Hannah skied her first race and did very well, and Petra came back strong. She really poured it on and had a great second run.”
Staked by the efforts of Erin Sutherland (1:16.70), Josie Peterson (1:17.41), Erika Anderson (1:18.43), and Paris Nunn (1:19.07), the top-4 placers in the female division, Hood River Valley completed the sweep with its total time of 3:52.35.
St. Mary’s Academy (4:28.89), Sandy (5:01.88), The Dalles (5:14.86), and Cleveland (5:27.92) made up the rest of the standings.
This was the first full length course many of the skiers have seen this year, and for some of The Dalles kids, it was a first ever, so coach Klindt was encouraged by what he saw.
“I was proud of all the kids,” coach Klindt said. “Not being able to train has been frustrating, but all the kids are excited to ski and are working hard on improving.”
The ski team hits the Middle Fork Course in a giant slalom event at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 3.