Logan Kistler will compete in four events to lead a contingent of 13 Ashland High boys who will vie for Ashland's second straight overall team snowboard title at the Oregon Interscholastic Snowboarding Association state championships today through Saturday at Mount Bachelor.
Kistler, a junior, won both Southern League boardercross races, an event that features groups of four racing down the mountain. Kistler is also expected to be one of the top contenders in the banked slalom, a timed event in which skiers navigate through a series of banks, rollers and jumps.
Kistler will be one of 32 snowboarders competing in the boardercross event, which will include a series of elimination races leading up to a final four-man showdown.
"(Kistler) almost made it to the finals (last year), but this year he's just so much faster and a year older and a year more focused," Ashland coach Matt Faurot said.
Kistler also placed ninth out of 70 riders in the 2012 banked slalom state final.
"He rides motorcycles and does a little motocross and I think that this type of event is tailored to his mentality," said Faurot. "And definitely going fast is his forte. He enjoys the freestyle aspect, but it's just in his nature to be competitive and he wants to be the first person down the course."
Kistler led the Southern League in both overall and individual points.
Henry Krant and Hunter Williams, both juniors, also will be key to Ashland's state title hopes.
Krant is one of the Grizzlies' best in both the slopestyle and halfpipe, while Williams will compete in the halfpipe, slopestyle and banked slalom.
The Ashland High girls will be led at state by Posa Tratensek-Contor, a sophomore who has qualified for the slopestyle competition.
Medford also will be well represented. Teddy Schein, a senior from St. Mary's, is the defending state champion in the slopestyle, a judged event in which competitors tackle a course of jumps and rails, and is expected be a title contender in all four events.
Casey Tratz of South Medford is the defending state champion in the halfpipe, edging Schein in the event.
On the girls side, South Medford's Lily Taft and Rachel Lightner also have high expectations this week. Taft, a senior, is a boardercross and banked slalom specialist who is also performing well in the slopestyle and halfpipe. Lightner, a junior, specializes in the slopestyle and halfpipe but according to Medford snowboard coach Mark Harris, she "goes toe-to-toe with (Taft) in race events as well."
Harris expects big things out of the South Medford girls in the team race.
"We very nearly got the overall (title) last year, and we expect to do it this year," he said. "We had the fastest girls team and this year we're that much stronger. I'm really hoping to sweep the overall for the girls."
The banked slalom and boardercross events will be held today, the slopestyle Friday and the halfpipe Saturday.
Results will be available at oisa.org.