Ski, snowboard team excels

Oak Ridge sends largest group to state competition March 2-7 at NorthStar
By: Matt Long
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The Oak Ridge snowboard and ski team will send 21 athletes to the state competition on March 2-7 at NorthStar. It's the most athletes Oak Ridge has ever sent to the final meet of the season, which makes the 2007-08 season a big success. It's been a really good season, Coach David Divine said. Our boarders finished second in the division behind El Dorado and this is the most kids I've taken to state. The team just keeps getting bigger and bigger each year once kids find out how fun it is. When I started four years ago I had 20 kids and now I have 63. Oak Ridge qualified seven skiers to the state meet, including Kirsten Goodridge, Ericka Simonsen, Megan Kunkel, Jeff Magnusson, Danny Kramer, Robert Brown and Joey Smith. Alternates include Kelley Schureman and Kelley Trumball. Snowboarders headed to the state meet include Monica Hanson, Breanna Hardy, Samantha Lee, Kelsey Kunkel, Kacey McKenzie and Jacqueline Lopez for the girls and Russ Janicki, Chase Hirschy, Spencer Verret, Kevin Semonsen, Kevin Fields and Brandon Thames for the boys. This is the largest group I've ever taken to the state competition, Divine said. I've got a pack of boarders that qualified and I've got some good skiers too. I hope we do well. Last year I think the boarders took 20th and our skiers were seventh and we're taking more people. We're in pretty good shape. The team begins dry land practice when the winter sports practice begins and when the first snow comes, they practice every Saturday on the slopes. Competitions generally take place on Mondays, but there were a couple that were held on Fridays this season. There are three slalom races and three giant slalom races during the season. Of the 21 athletes headed to the state competition, only five are seniors so Oak Ridge should have another strong team again next year.