31! Tiger girls defend state ski title | SummitDaily.com

31! Tiger girls defend state ski title

Summit Daily/Reid Williams Summit High School's Shelly Miller crashes through a gate on Keystone's Go Devil trail during Saturday's slalom portion of the state high school skiing championships.

KEYSTONE and BRECKENRIDGE – Make it 31 state championships.The Summit High School girls skiers added another number to the banner hanging in the Farmer’s Korner gym on Saturday, maintaining their big lead from day one and defending last year’s title on home snow.Junior Brittany Perkins led the way for the second straight day by winning the Nordic classic race after capturing the freestyle crown on Friday. She’s won three individual state championships in the last two years.”I’m so glad our team did so well,” Perkins said after Saturday’s classic race. “We worked together. We were so glad to hear this morning that the alpine girls were still ahead. It just feels so good to do it again.”

Summit’s girls went into the day with a seemingly insurmountable 19-point lead over Aspen. And led by Shelly Miller’s fourth-place finish in the morning slalom race – one which led three SHS girls into the top 11 – the alpine Tigers gave their Nordic teammates plenty of room for error. As it turned out, Perkins and company needed none of it.”Most of them knew they had a pretty good lead,” first-year SHS Nordic head coach Tom Sain said. “But as you can see, they didn’t take that for granted. I’m really proud of them.”Perkins’ younger sister Briana, a freshman, finished fourth in the classic after taking fifth the day before. Mackenzie Jones and Lauren Jefferson joined her in the top 10.

After going four years without a state championship, the Tigers have now won four in the last three years, two each for the boys and girls. Summit alpine coach Tory Hauser has been there for all of them, while Saturday’s girls title was the first for Sain.The storied tradition Summit has built over the years helps distinguish the county among other mountain communities in the state. From avid elder followers to the teenage racers themselves, the eye-popping total does little to diminish the magnitude of each one.Summit narrowly missed out on its second straight sweep, but in the end Aspen’s slalom prowess was too much to overcome on the boys side. The Tigers still finished second, — points back of the Skiers.Although some have said the alpine and Nordic crowns should be decided separately, nobody from Summit was arguing that after Saturday’s conclusion. Because balance won.

“It makes me feel like I did something to help the school,” said Miller, a four-year all-state skier. “And that’s always been important, to give our school a good name.”Finish line: This year marked the first time since 1995 that Summit had hosted the state championships … At the Colorado High School Ski League meeting on Thursday night, a motion to require skiers to compete in all three regular season races in order to qualify for the state race in that discipline was defeated in a vote. Currently, skiers only have to compete in two of the three to be eligible to race at state … Aspen skiers won three of the four alpine races. Paul Britvar repeated as slalom champion, while Jenny Hearn swept the girls events … Steamboat’s Marty Smith (classic) and Mike Gleason (freestyle) swept the boys Nordic races.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at doneil@summitdaily.com.

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