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Locals shine at state skiing

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO Lakeridge’s Michael Conan took third in the freestyle competition at Mt. Hood last week.

The Lakeridge and Lake Oswego ski teams competed last week at the 2012 State Championships at Mt. Hood. The event led off on Wednesday with the freestyle competition at Mt. Hood Meadows with fresh powder and windy conditions. The Lakeridge freestyle squadron won third place in the freestyle event for the combined half pipe and slopestyle events.

Michael Conan placed third in the freestyle competition with Doug Taylor, Michael Ashworth and Jack Benziger contributing to the team's strong finish. On Thursday, the state competition continued with the giant slalom race at Ski Bowl on Reynolds run for the boys and West Wall for the girls.

The slalom race was back at Mt. Hood Meadows on the Stadium run on Friday. Drifts of soft snow gave way to ice and ruts making the race a challenging finish to the season. The Lakeridge boys team took the podium with a third place overall finish for the state races while the young girls team finished in seventh place.

The combined Pacer boys and girls teams brought home a fourth ]lace finish from state. Top 10 individual finishes went to the two Lakeridge freshmen sensations, Maddie Lawhead in fifth place overall for the girls and Ashlay Ruddick in fifth overall for the boys.

Sarah Tucker from Lake Oswego finished in ninth place combined, leading the LO girls team to a fourth place finish overall. The Lake Oswego boys team finished in 15th place for giant slalom and slalom combined led by Chase Fuller in 12th place overall for the two events.

The LO girls and boys teams brought home a sixth place finish as combined teams for state.

A new award was given by the OISRA (Oregon Interscholastic Ski Racing Association) for 2012 to recognize and reward versatility in the skiers who compete in both freestyle and racing events. Conan, Lakeridge senior captain won the first place Ski Meister award for his combined freestyle and racing performance in the four events at the state championships.