HRV boys, girls make state race

By ADAM LAPIERRE

News staff writer

February 22, 2006

The Mt. Hood Ski League advances the top three boys’ teams and the top four girls’ teams to the state race, which will be March 2-3 this season. The Hood River Valley High School girls finished second, behind Sandy, in each of the six races this season, which guaranteed them a trip to state. The boys, on the other hand, finished fourth in the first three races and third in the final three races, putting them in a tie for third place with The Dalles-Wahtonka. The rule book says, if there is a tie at the end of the league schedule, the team to have finished higher in the last race will advance to state.

And Saturday’s race at Ski Bowl was the final race of the schedule, which meant the varsity boys had to beat The Eagle-Indians in order to make it to state. Tony Guisto led the Eagles with a third place finish, followed by Nick Maslen in 10th and Sam Mears in 11th. The top three The Dalles-Wahtonka skiers finished 9th, 17th and 18th, which was slow enough to secure the Hood River boys a trip to state.

“The boys finished this weekend, and that’s what they needed to do all season,” said Coach Jessica Gunesch. “It made me very happy.”

Leading the way for the girls was Kaytlin Hughes, who finished second behind the season’s Mt. Hood League champion, Whitney Schultz, from Sandy. Hughes finished the season at fourth place overall in the league, and in Saturday’s race she edged the overall second and third place skiers — who are also from Sandy — by more than five seconds.

“Kaytlin hadn’t skied for a few years before the season,” Gunesch said. “Her improvement has been immense. She has gotten better and more confident with every run.”

Leading the boys’ team this season was senior Tony Guisto, who finished Saturday’s race in third place and the season in 8th place overall.

“He’s a very strong and determined racer,” Gunesch said about Guisto.

The state race will be next week, March 2-3 at Ski Bowl. The girls will race giant slalom and the boys slalom on the first day, and on the second they will switch. Racing will start at about 10 a.m. each morning and run through the afternoon.

“We just want the kids to have a lot of fun at state,” commented Gunesch. “We hope they will have a great time and ski to the best of their ability.”

A highlight for the girls’ team this season is the junior varsity team taking the league title. After finishing second in the first race, the JV girls went on to finish first in the final five races.

The finish is a testament to the depth of the girls’ team and it shows promise for the future.

Saturday’s race highlights:

Girls:

Kaytlin Hughes 2nd

Chrisie Brock 5th

Ashley Kastner 6th

Jessica Ostler 7th

Caley Melton 17th

Emily Kao 26th

Heather Van Swaay 28th

Boys:

Tony Guisto 3rd

Nick Maslen 10th

Sam Mears 11th

Tyler Sassara 12th

Taylor Eaton 16th

Matthew Bryne 1st run DNF

Overall season standings:

Girls:

Varsity team —

Sandy 1st

Hood River 2nd

St. Mary’s 3rd

Junior varsity team —

Hood River 1st

Sandy 2nd

St. Mary’s 3rd

Individual —

Kaytlin Hughes 4th

Kayla Lloyd 5th

Chrisie Brock 6th

Ashley Kastner 7th

Jessica Ostler 9th

Claire Snelling 10th

Caley Melton 21st

Heather Van Swaay 26th

Molly McCulloch 27th

Emily Kao 34th

Boys:

Varsity team —

Sandy 1st

Barlow 2nd

Hood River 3rd

The Dalles Wahtonka 3rd

Individual —

Tony Guisto 8th

Sam Mears 16th

Tyler Sassara 17th

Taylor Eaton 18th

Nick Maslen 21st

Scott Brous 29th

Matthew Byrne 32nd

Joe Sager 35th

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