While the rest of Summit High School gets ready for spring sports to get underway this week, winter is not over yet for some members of the Summit High and Summit Nordic Ski Club. Six skiers from the team, along with one Summit High alum, headed to Stowe, Vt., last Wednesday to get a jump on training for nationals. The team hopes they can follow up strong performances at state with a good showing against competition from across the country. Summit’s Taeler McCrerey, Ruthie Boyd, Cameron Bobb, Henry Trowbridge, Joel Sawyer, Liam McDonnell, Parker Shell and former Tiger and current University of Colorado freshman Jackson Hill, all made the trip east for the week-long competition starting Monday, March 3.
The team hopes that getting an opportunity to arrive early and acclimate will be an advantage. Thanks to Summit’s winter break, head coach Joe Howdyshell said they arrived before anyone else, other than the local team from Stowe.
“We came a little early to get acclimated,” McCrerey said. She, her coach and fellow team members said the change to lower altitude has actually presented a challenge for them.
“I thought it would be easier for us to go down. It’s actually been really challenging,” she said. “Last year (arriving closer to the competition), it hurt us as a whole.”
She explained that while breathing wasn’t more difficult, she felt her muscles get tired more easily. But with the added training time, she said the team is now more prepared.
“The first day was kind of rough,” she said. “I think we’re ready to rock for tomorrow.”
As to nerves the night before competition, Howdyshell said, “It’s a fairly seasoned crew, so they’re not super nervous.”
And he likes his team’s chances. “All of our kids have top 10 potential,” he said. “I definitely think Taeler has the opportunity to pop a couple top threes.”
Trowbridge, a junior, also described his teammates as ready for the challenge. “It’s definitely a heightened competition,” he said. “It’s what we train all year for.”
The team will face unseasonably cold conditions, which is expected to keep the course fast and icy. East coast humidity may also be a factor.
“The conditions here are pretty different to what we’ve seen all season,” Trowbridge said. “The snow will be faster. It’s hurt us in the past.”
Howdyshell said course conditions should stay the same through the week. The forecast is calling for a high of 7 degrees for the first day of competition with temperatures remaining cold all week.
Having had a few days to get a feel for the course, sophomore Ruthie Boyd described it as challenging with a number of hills, similar to courses here in the Rockies.
“It’s going to be a course that I’m going to enjoy,” she said. “I think the course is really fun. It’s nice to have hills headed into the finish. That’s one of our strengths.”
Nationals start with classic style interval racing on Monday.
Tiger spring sports ready to roll
It may still feel like winter outside but as far as Summit High sports is concerned, spring is in the air. The spring sports schedule gets underway this week with boys and girls lacrosse, girls soccer, baseball and track all opening their seasons. Girls soccer gets things rolling first with their home opener scheduled for Thursday, March 6 against Steamboat Springs, followed by an away game at Eagle Valley Saturday, March 8. Girls lacrosse opens at home Friday, March 7 against Dakota Ridge. The boys team will host Fruita Monument Saturday, March 8. Baseball will start the season at Jefferson Saturday, March 8 in a double header. The track team will travel to Liberty High School for an invitational, also on Saturday, March 8.