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April 4, 2020

2/18/2020 7:31:00 AM
White, Van Order score top 10s for Hodags at state snowboarding competition

The Rhinelander/Northland Pines snowboarding teams posted solid days Saturday at the WIARA state championships in La Crosse.

Girls' boarders Kylee White and Madesyn Van Order finished fifth and seventh, respectively, in the overall competition while Bailey Schwab finished 13th overall in the boys' competition at Mt. La Crosse.

The Hodags entered the day with little pressure and performed well on the big stage.

"They did good. Today exceeded my expectations of where we were going to end up for both squads," coach Rod Olson said.

White, whose 2019 season ended in a training crash at Mt. La Crosse, bounced back with three solid runs. She placed fifth overall to start the day in boardercross, she followed that up with an eighth in giant slalom and a sixth in slalom. Her fifth place in the overall far exceeded her previous best finish at state of 23rd as a freshman.

"Kylee had an extremely confident day," Olson said. "She was worried (Friday) in training about boardercross coming off the injury. Her last experience at Mt. La Crosse was breaking her arm. But that all went well. She was really relaxed today and actually her tech events are usually a little better than boardercross, and she shined in boardercross today. She really had a good line and some sweet turns and did well."

Van Order, who missed the first half of the Northern Conference season due to injury, was still able to qualify for state individually and made the most of her opportunity. Seventh-place finishes in boardercross and slalom led her to seventh place in the overall standings. Kyleigh Allen, who finished fifth in the Northern Conference standings, was 34th in the 41-boarder field.

"They all had good days and were in a relaxed state. They were very calm so impressive run for them and they're all feeling really good right now," Olson said.

Like White, Schwab had a big jump in performance this year compared to his previous state experience. He started the day with a 26th-place finish in boardercross, but picked it up in the last two events with an eighth in GS and an 11th in slalom to finish 13th overall, 13 places better than his state showing last year.

"His giant slalom and slalom were really good," Olson said. "He jumped onto a race board, a hard board and stiff boots, and it made a huge difference. Bailey's running with some of these other guys that were running that equipment. It's a huge improvement because that board will do things. It's stiff. It holds a carve. It doesn't release. He used his regular board in boardercross, but he had a good day and a good overall."

The Hodag boys, who qualified as a team based on their Northern Conference championship, placed seventh in a field of nine teams at the state meet. Robert Masini was 34th overall. Joey Sturzl finished 38th, Max Durkee was 46th, Joey Dark was 51st and Reese Frisque was 53rd in a field of 56.

"With the exception of (Bailey), the rest of the boys' squad is young," Olson said. "We have three freshmen running and a couple of juniors that don't even have one full season before this season. We've only got kids with very little experience down here. The boys were seventh out of nine and I was happy about that for having a team that really doesn't have that much experience to do what they did. They learned a lot."

The WIARA state meet concluded Sunday and Monday with the boys' and girls' skiing state championships, which finished after deadline for this edition. A recap of those events will be published in Thursday's River News.

Jeremy Mayo may be reached at jeremy@rivernewsonline.com.





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