Surprise! Summit snowboarders win again

When a team is as dominant as the Summit Snowboard Team, it can afford to mix up its lineup on race day.

The four-time defending state champs chose to add a little intrigue to last Saturday’s Boardercross race at Mt. Hood Meadows by splitting up the boys Varsity I and Varsity II teams.

And, as luck would have it, the plan worked to perfection, as the teams finished one-two in the standings.

“Both our guys teams rode perfectly,” assistant coach Steve Grace said. “We took a bit of a risk splitting up the Varsity I team. But by putting some new guys in the one and two spots on Varsity II, we did better overall.”

Senior Colin Franger and junior Paul Rovianek each raced on the Varsity II team for the first time this year, and helped close the gap with Varsity I to just five-tenths of a second (97.42 seconds for VI; 97.9 seconds for VII).

Seniors Ben Connors and Tad Hukari led the Varsity I team with times of 22.5 and 24.44 seconds, respectively, while Rovianek finished at 23.45 and Franger at 23.85.

Josh Blanchette (25.13), Michael Clement (25.57), Neal Regentin (25.03) and Finny England (25.35) also turned in strong times for the boys, who also won the morning’s Slopestyle event.

Connors (8.4) and Hukari (6.9) posted the best individual scores in the field of eight Gorge League varsity teams. Girls Slopestyle results were not available at press time, but were scheduled to appear at by Tuesday afternoon.

Summit head coach Chris Hargrave said that senior Meghan Ferns and junior Lisa Page each had “very competitive runs,” and added that both should finish among the top three at state.

“Overall, I’d say the girls have a good chance of taking the title,” Hargrave said. “They were impressive on Saturday, and now that the conditions are improving, they’re getting excited.”

Ferns and Page also led the girls team in Saturday’s Boardercross, finishing one-two with times of 25.87 and 26.02, respectively. Mariam Appel finished third on the team at 28.28, while Komisa Schwartzel finished fourth at 27.97, and Grace Rickenbach fifth at 31.25.

The girls’ combined time of 108.14 seconds easily surpassed the second-place Barlow team by more than 10 seconds.

Summit takes to the hill again on Saturday at Meadows for another Slopestyle competition.

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