Ashland girls claim state championship

Megan Ganim had strong runs in the slalom and giant slalom, leading the Ashland girls to a surprising overall championship in the Oregon Interscholastic Ski Racing Association state meet.

Also, Crater's Kailey Flockoi bagged an individual title in slalom and South Medford's boys team was third in slalom.

The meet was Thursday and Friday at Mt. Hood Ski Resort.

"I was so elated to see them win," coach Gary King said of the Ashland girls. "My eyes literally welled with tears of joy. We expected maybe a top three, but not to win it."

King coaches the seven schools that train together and make up the Southern Oregon League. The league sent 27 individuals to state.

Ganim spearheaded the Ashland charge, leading the Grizzlies to the team win in the slalom and to second place in the giant slalom. The two finishes resulted in overall gold.

"I was talking to her after her first run in the slalom," said King. "She was so nervous, she said she took it easy on her first run and she was mad at herself. I could tell she was really determined to go for it on her second run, and she did. She really showed a lot of leadership."

Ganim, a senior, was sixth in the slalom, while Grizzly sophomore Sabina Schilling was eighth and sophomore Kesley McElvey was 12th. The top three on each team scored in team events.

It was the same three who led Ashland to runner-up in the giant slalom, with Ganim second, McElvey 10th and Schilling 15th.

Ganim was second overall among girls, McElvey was seventh and Schilling 11th.

Flockoi, a junior, was seeded 12th but came on strong to claim both slalom runs and win the championship.

In the giant slalom, she was fifth after the first run but fell during the second, leaving her in 18th place. She was eighth in the overall standings.

In other girls results, St. Mary's freshman Maddie Hunkele was 13th in slalom and 17th overall; North Medford junior Rylee Houck was 14th in the slalom after placing third in the first run but falling in the second; and South Medford freshman Madison Eaton was 20th in slalom.

On the boys side, senior Austin Morgan paced the boys slalom to third by finishing third in the discipline. Senior teammates Eric Winkler (23rd) and Noah Brooks (27th) also factored into scoring.

Morgan was seventh overall following a 19th in giant slalom.

North Medford senior Reece Pressman was sixth in giant slalom and 16th in slalom, putting him in 11th overall.

North Medford sophomore Parker Spear was 19th overall.

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