Bear River skiers advance to state event |

Bear River skiers advance to state event

Don’t worry if you see Bear River’s Matt Grimes in a serious conversation with himself in the minutes just prior to an alpine ski race – the kid hasn’t lost his mind.

He’s just trying to get into the zone.

“About five minutes before a race, I’m off somewhere just talking nonstop to myself. I talk about about the things I need to focus on. I (do it) to get psyched up before I race, but not too much to where I start forgetting about technique,” the senior said.

Grimes and six Bear River alpine ski teammates will compete with 17 other prep programs at Mammoth Mountain in a bid for state ski supremacy Tuesday and Wednesday.

Grimes, who qualified for both the slalom and the giant slalom events for the second straight year, has set his sights high.

“I finished 38th my sophomore year, then 18th last year. My goal this year is to place in the top three,” he said.

In Tuesday’s slalom final, in which he qualified third, Grimes will be joined by twins Timothy and Anthony Green and Dustin Welch on the boys side. Brianna Stoddart is Bear River’s sole qualifier in both the girls slalom and giant slalom finals.

The Greens, along with Carl Payne will compete with Grimes – the event’s No. 2 qualifier – in Wednesday’s giant slalom final.

“It’s amazing, the stuff they do. They’re not afraid of anything,” Grimes said of Greens. “They have the most fun out there.”

With a variety of top ski areas within an hour’s drive, Grimes said event organizers hit the jackpot with the selection of Mammoth.

“I love it. I think it’s the best resort in California,” Grimes said. “It’s huge. It’s got tons of advanced stuff, as well as bunch for the beginner and intermediate skier.”

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