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Oliver Tufte steps up to win the halfpipe in state snowboarding

SUBMITTED PHOTO - West Linn senior Oliver Tufte catches some air during last week's state snowboarding competition on Mt. Hood. Tufte won the halfpipe competition at state.West Linn's best snowboarders took their shots at the state's best this weekend, and the Lions proved they belonged.

While the teams from Ashland skied off with the most hardware — the Grizzly boys and girls swept the team titles in the halfpipe and saw its boys win the slopestyle title — at the Oregon Interscholastic Snowboard Association state competition, West Linn made its mark, too.

The Lions boys team took second in the halfpipe competition (Ashland was first with 602 points while the Lions finished at 600), grabbed third in slopestyle (Ashland was first at 940, Beaverton second at 856 and West Linn third at 785), and fifth in the banked slalom (Grant was first at 1,281 points while the Lions racked up 658).

Senior Oliver Tufte powered his team's efforts in the Saturday halfpipe, racking up 198 points on his three runs to finish first in the field of 50. Tufte secured his championship by combining head-high airs and linking a frontside 720 to a switch cab 360 to a frontside 540 that brought the audience to its feet. Teammate Evan Potter was solid, too, piling up 153 points to finish fourth with multiple board grabs and coupling a frontside 360 switch to a cab 360. Hunter Hutchinson came in 19th at 127 and Max Russell at 29th at 122.

In the Friday slopestyle competition, the Lions got top-11 finishes from both Tufte (tied for fifth at 248 points) and Hutchinson (11th at 211). Ashland's Che Tratensek-Contor won the event with a total of 285 points.

Tufte used a stylish fish grab off the irons and a massive frontside-540 on the large jump to finish fifth, while Hutchinson nailed a sky-bound 360 on the large jump. Teammates Potter (43rd) and Connor Blanchard (47th) also contributed to their team's third-place finish.

Highlights from West Linn's fifth-place finish in Friday's banked slalom included Potter's sixth-place effort at 52.671 points, and Russell's 26th-place finish at 56.364.

Grant's Eli Mitchell (51.371) grabbed the gold, with Ashland's John Corder (52.005) and Tualatin's Jacob Berggren (52.123) coming in second and third. Kaleb Ritter, Hutchison, Blanchard, Gavin Campbell, Blane Burton and Tufte all participated as well.

Girls state meet

While the highlights were fewer in number for the West Linn girls, the Lions still proved their abilities against the state's best.

West Linn finished fifth in the banked slalom competition at 680 points (the top three teams were Wilson at 960, La Salle at 920 and Canby at 718), and came back to place sixth in the slopestyle with 380 points (Lincoln took first at 643, followed by Sandy's 559 and Ashland's 545).

Kyli Miller made good time that allowed her to qualify for Bordercross and the quarterfinals, eventually finishing ninth overall with 62.554 points. Tigard's Kenna Reid won the event at 54.487, followed by La Salle's Kiana Christensen at 54.642 and Wilson's Carmen Donnerberg at 56.55. Olivia Swofford added a 17th for West Linn at 66.856 points.

In the slopestyle competition, Swofford hit the rail slides with ease and performed a tail grab off a jump that lifted her to 17th with 140 points. Teammates Ava Paul (19th) and Miller (36th) ran the jump-filled course well, too, displaying some creative indy's and mutes off the singles. La Salle's Christensen took top honors with 294 points, followed by Hood River's Elexis McAllister second at 197 and Tigard's Reid third at 191

And finally, in the girls halfpipe, Swofford rose up to 13th, performing various off-edge grabs and holds to rack up 97 points. Christensen won again with 169 points, with Lincoln's Sylvi Kruger second at 131 and South Medford's Kayla Reiss third at 129.

Other West Linn competitors included Kailani Rains, Brittany Ard, Elliott Avery, and coaches Rachel Lynne and Eugene Strobeck.

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