It's been years since Summit High School swept the state ski championships. On Friday, they did it again. Girls and boys on the Nordic and alpine teams earned themselves a state champ title in Grand County following Thursday and Friday's competition. The title combines results from both alpine disciplines (GS and slalom) and both Nordic disciplines (skate and classic) to determine the overall winner. The boys' team landed the title two years ago, and the girls have been four years out following a good run prior to the lull. They are typically chasing Aspen, and this year, the girls beat them out for first place by a mere two points while the boys overcame the Skiers by 40 points (Aspen finished third overall). Going into Friday afternoon's classic Nordic races on an overcast day that was slightly less windy and definitely less snowy than Thursday, Summit's girls were in the lead by six points following a win in the slalom. Anne Parker finished fourth, Katy Harris finished fifth and Ellie Brown-Wolf helped the team out in 13th place in Friday's slalom race at Winter Park Resort. "The girls skied awesome today," head coach Karl Barth said Friday afternoon. "They skied well and smart and skied aggressively. Slalom puts you on the edge of your seat." He added that the goal was to gain a lead over Aspen to give the Nordic team a shot to seal the deal. But then, they came out on top without the help. This, after Summit had rough GS runs on Thursday, putting them back in the standings at the end of the day. "We knew we had the potential, but they put up some good firepower to do it," Barth said. In the classic Nordic race at Snow Mountain Ranch, the girls came through with Taeler McCrerey finishing second, Ruthie Boyd in fifth and Katherine Pappas in 13th. According to coach Hannah Taylor, both the girls and boys went into the classic race knowing only that alpine had done well and that they should ski their hardest. "Not that they wouldn't have," Taylor said, "It's just an added incentive, that they were still in it." Meanwhile, the boys' alpine team took second overall in the slalom, just seven points behind Evergreen, giving berth to the Nordic team to up the ante for the overall title. After the slalom, Summit's lead over rival Aspen had widened to 17 points (Aspen was fifth in the slalom). The team was in a position that made coaches and skiers "fairly comfortable, with our Nordic team favored to win," Barth said. Daniel McFadden recovered from a bad day in the GS Thursday to place second overall in slalom Friday, while Lucas Michieli again put in two solid, consistent runs to finish 10th. Patrick Gruber had a good first run, but finished 19th. His second run bumped him up to 11th place in the slalom. Robert Powell finished lower than expected on Friday after a poor first run."Lucas stepped up and put it out of the park," Barth said of the boys' captain. "It was cool to see him do that in his final race." The boys' Nordic team took second through sixth in Friday's classic race. Jackson Hill was second, Henry Trowbridge was third and Cameron Bobb was fourth to round out those who scored for the team. Behind Bobb was Sam Piehl and Liam McDonnell. Wade Rosko and Billy Wilcox weren't far behind in 13th and 14th, and Colin McGrew and Shane Arnold finished together in 22nd and 23rd. "We had two really good races," Taylor said. "Whether our kids finished on top or not, ... today's course was a little more challenging. It was very windy out there, which made the dynamics of the race (interesting). You couldn't be out there by yourself or you'd be blocking the wind by yourself. Team tactics definitely came into play. The kids did great with that and worked together well. If we could score eight kids, we would, because we have such a great, deep team."
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