The Dalles ski team started the regular season with giant slalom and slalom events aboard Mount Hood Meadows and put up a combined eight top-20 times, including five at last weekend’s slalom race on the Stadium Course.
On the boys side, Louis Red Cloud claimed eighth place in a field of 37 with slalom rushes of 41.20 and 35.75 for a two-run mark of one minute and 16.95 seconds, eight seconds behind overall winner, Chris McElwee, of Hood River Valley (1:08.95).
George Harrison had times of 56.41 and rebounded on his second try with a 44.01 to end up 15th in 1:40.42.
Ethan Martin added a 54.71 and a 48.94 for his 1:43.65 and 18th place.
Rowan Simpson completed just one of his attempts, crossing the line in 1:01.11 on a second try.
“The kids all did great,” TD head coach Dane Klindt said. “George came from behind and finished second for the team. Rowan, in his first slalom, skied a great race and is going to do nothing but improve.”
Those times gave the Riverhawks a cumulative team time of 4:41.02 to earn sixth place, behind the top-3, Sandy (3:30.92), Hood River Valley (3:44.43) and Cleveland (4:05.75).
Petra Van Kessel-Ervin had the girls’ best slalom mark of 1:36.24 in 12th place, as she posted a 50.81 and then shaved down more than five seconds on her second run with a 45.43, 28.92 seconds behind overall winner, Erica Anderson, out of Hood River Valley (1:07.32).
After Van Kessel-Ervin, Ashley Quisenberry notched a 56.06 and a 50.06 for a two-run rush of 1:46.12 to take hold of 20th place.
“Ashley had her first slalom and she stepped up to the plate and finished both runs,” Klindt said.
In the team standings, Hood River Valley secured first place as a team after going for 3:37.75, 24.05 better than Grant (4:01.80) and 30.33 ahead of St. Mary’s Academy (4:08.08).
Coach Klindt is feeling optimistic about the prospects of Red Cloud and Van Kessel-Ervin, two veterans ready to take another step forward this season.
“Petra and Louis are really starting to find their groove and I am excited to see how far they go this year,” Klindt said.
On Jan. 12, in a giant slalom race, The Dalles girls received breakout performances by Van Kessel-Ervin, Hannah Biehn and Quisenberry to score fifth place in the team standings (5:21.46).
Van Kessel-Ervin turned in rushes of 48.59 and 52.06 for a two-run total of 1:40.65 to end up in 16th place out a field of 33 skiers.
Biehn was good for 19th place following tries of 50.11 and 54.40 to total 1:44.51, 21.73 seconds behind Hood River Valley’s top skier, Josie Peterson (1:22.78).
“Hannah has taken a new approach this year and has shown great improvement,” Klindt said. “She had two of the best runs I have ever seen for her, but unfortunately hooked a tip on both runs. I am proud of her though, because she was really going for it and soon it will all click. I expect at least one top-10 finish out of her, if not more.”
Rounding out the Lady Hawks was Quisenberry, who reeled off times of 55.91 and 1:00.39 to secure 26th place after her combined 1:56.30.
Red Cloud paced The Dalles boys with 11th place, with his first run timing out in 43.30 seconds, which was good for 10th place. On his final attempt, the senior hit for a 48.60 to make his two-run rally of 1:31.90, 11.75 seconds in back of overall winner, Nash Levy (1:20.15) and McElwee (1:23.72), both of Hood River Valley.
Martin had runs of 50.19 and 55.71 for his 1:45.90 to place 21st out of 36 skiers, and Simpson did not place after finishing one of his attempts, but still managed a second-run time of 59.92.
In the boys’ final team standings, Hood River Valley took home first place with a 4:13.65, which was 2.09 seconds ahead of Sandy (4:15.74) and 14.94 ticks better than Cleveland High School (4:28.59).
TD had a race this past Saturday, and then has a giant slalom event at Ski Bowl at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2.