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Host Grizzlies snag two state titles

MOUNT ASHLAND — Ashland may not have had a skier challenge for an individual state championship but the Grizzlies' depth proved unbeatable in both the girls team and boys and girls combined team race in the Oregon Interscholastic Ski Racing Association alpine state championships Friday at Mount Ashland.

The Ashland High girls raced away with their second state title in three years and helped the school capture the combined state championship, which is calculated by adding together the combined scoring times of each school's boys and girls, as the two-day event wrapped up with the boys slalom and girls giant slalom Friday.

The Grizzly girls, led by third-place giant slalom finisher Maddie Hunkele, ended up with a combined slalom/giant slalom time of 9 minutes, 39.36 seconds to best second-place Jesuit (9:48.00) and third-place Lincoln (10:02.88). That, combined with the Ashland boys fifth-place overall team finish, allowed the Grizzlies to walk off their home mountain with the all-around first-place trophy.

Hood River took the boys' combined team title with a total time of 8:36.37, using a 3:52.10 showing in Friday's slalom to leapfrog giant slalom champ Lakeridge, which ended up fourth overall. West Linn placed second and Lake Oswego third in the final boys' standings.

Hunkele's strong showing Friday represented the Grizzlies' best individual performance in either race, and Frida Graumann was Ashland's top overall placer, coming in 12th with a combined time of 3:19.11.

Lake Oswego's Nicole Danilevsky captured the girls' overall state championship with a combined 3:02.88, edging runner up Erin Sutherland from Hood River (3:06.89) and third-place skier Amelia Volk of Phoenix (3:07.29), the top placer from Southern Oregon. South Medford's Madison Eaton finished seventh overall in 3:14.36.

On the boys' side, Hood River's Montana Kurahara won the overall state championship with a combined time of 2:35.80, while West Linn's Connor Splitstoser placed second (2:42.94) and Crater's Griffin Hokanson third (2:46.60).

For Ashland, Noah Catropa took ninth in 2:54.40, Curtis Hills was 17th (3:04.45) and Ian Rinefort 19th (3:06.91).

Ashland senior Maddie Hunkele tucks into the finish of her second run in the giant slalom at Mount Ashland Friday. PHOTO BY ANDY ATKINSON