It's been two years since Ashland High School has won a state title in snowboarding, too long by head coach Matt Faurot's standards.
Faurot and the Grizzlies hope to end that short draught this weekend at Mount Bachelor, where the top snowboarding athletes in the state will gather for the Oregon Interscholastic Snowboard Association state championships. The three-day gathering begins Thursday and wraps up Saturday, when the top-performing boys and girls teams in three events — banked slalom, slopestyle and halfpipe — will be awarded the Sato Cup.
Ashland became a snowboarding dynasty in the 2000s, with its girls team claiming five Sato Cups and its boys team two. And with 15 qualifiers — 11 boys, four girls — heading north this week, the Grizzlies should contend for another title.
What: The snowboarding state
Where: At Mount Hood.
When: Thursday through Saturday.
"I think that a boys overall state title is what we're putting ourselves in contention for," Faurot said.
The Grizzlies who qualified for state did so at Southern League events held at Mount Hood and Mount Bachelor in recent weeks. The halfpipe, banked slalom and snowboard cross events were held March 1-2 at the Mount Hood Meadows and Timberline resorts, and the slopestyle was held at Mount Bachelor on Saturday.
Senior Logan Kistler has qualified in all four events. His clutch performance at the Southern League district meets included a first-place finish in both the banked slalom and the snowboard cross. To claim his snowboard cross title Kistler had to advance through three rounds of three- or four-man downhill races that included jumps and sharp turns, then finish first in the four-man finale.
Kistler will try to make Ashland history and capture what would be the Grizzlies' first halfpipe state title. He's come close, advancing to the finals two years ago and the semis last year.
Also in the halfpipe, the Grizzlies will roll out a freshman, Che Tratensek-Contor, who placed third overall in the Southern League, including fourth in the banked slalom.
"He's a well-rounded rider," Faurot said of Tratensek-Contor. "He's able to utilize his skateboarding background and transfer it to the snowboarding principles."
Kistler won the banked slalom with a best time of 30.38 seconds, while Henry Krant was second in 31.33 and Hunter Williams third in 31.45.
Ashland's Oriah Turner-Riley took first in the Southern League girls banked slalom, while teammate Posa Tratensek-Contor was third.