Wednesday, March 13, 2002/lk
MT. HOOD MEADOWS — While the Summit Varsity I teams were busy cleaning out the state trophy case at last weekend’s OISA State Snowboard Championships, the boys Varsity II team was carving out its own place in the state snowboarding annals.
Further proving that the Oregon snowboarding pinnacle resides in Hood River, the Varsity II team placed third overall in Boardercross and fourth overall in Slopestyle.
“It’s cool that we have a team that’s so good all the way around,” senior David Keleher said. “For a Varsity II team to overtake so many Varsity I teams is pretty amazing.”
Keleher said this year’s state competition was special for him because it was the first time he had ever stood on the podium. He was also highly complimentary of his teammates.
“We rode really well as a team in the second Boardercross run,” he said. “Since everyone stayed so close together, we had a huge advantage over a lot of other teams.”
Led by Todd Anderson’s time of 27.25 seconds, all six Varsity II competitors finished within five seconds of one another.
“We really held together as a team,” said senior Danny Rawson, who posted a Boardercross time of 29.7 seconds to go with his team-leading 18.8 score in Slopestyle.
“Watching our teammates ride throughout the season really helped a lot. Ben (Connors), Jordan (Schmidt) and the other guys showed us a lot of tricks and we all got better because of it.”
Sophomore Matt McClure — one of the team’s most improved riders in the 2001-02 season — showed that he plans to be a state contender before his high-school career is over, finishing second on the team in both events.
“I’m glad I got to ride with Varsity II this year,” he said. “I like it better when I can ride toward the front of the pack. If I had to ride behind the Varsity I guys, I probably would have finished with a slower time.”
McClure’s time of 28.1 seconds in Boardercross was second only to Anderson, and his 18.3 score in Slopestyle was a close second to Rawson.
“My goal for next year is to ride with Varsity I and finish top 10 in both events at state,” McClure said.
Another rider who will be making a push for Varsity I next year will be junior Isaac Stranz, who finished third on the team in both events, with a 28.75 time in Boardercross and an 18.1 score in Slopestyle.
Three more state competitors returning next season are junior Josh Blanchette (16.2 in Slopestyle), and sophomores Sean Ritter (15.9 in Slopestyle) and Neal Regentin (32.06 in Boardercross).
“We might be even better next year,” McClure said.