Perkins captures state title in classic
summit daily news
VAIL ” Now that Brittany Perkins has gone off to race at Western State College, there doesn’t seem to be anyone left in the Colorado High School Nordic ranks who can stop her younger sister, Briana.
Briana Perkins won the classic-discipline state title Thursday in Vail, one year after finishing second to her five-time state champion sister in both the classic and skate races at the state meet in Granby.
The SHS junior, who won her fourth consecutive high school race dating back to Jan. 13, finished a convincing 21 seconds ahead of runner-up Karlie Moore (Vail). Aspen’s Laura Hatanaka finished third.
“Everyone was out there screaming, ‘Briana you’re two seconds (ahead of Moore), now your four seconds up,’ and I just had to push as hard as I could,” Perkins said. “I’m actually sick, but I don’t think that really made a difference today.”
Perkins victory, which put the Lady Tigers (153 points) temporarily in third place behind Vail (168) and Aspen (163), was especially significant for Summit since Mackenzie Jones missed the race due to illness.
“Right before the race, we found out that our second-best skier wasn’t going to compete,” said Leah Venturoni, who was Summit’s second scorer in 16th place. “I knew I had to try to pick up some more points and I had this huge adrenaline rush right before we started.”
Dana Meeker finished 19th as Summit’s third and final scorer in what SHS Nordic coach Gene Dayton described as her breakout race.
Meeker said that she too was focused on filling the void left by Jones.
“My initial reaction was that I was pretty disappointed, because I think we were all pretty much counting on Briana and Mackenzie to help carry us to a win,” Meeker said. “But then I just thought, ‘Wow, we’re all going to have to race harder to make up for it.”
When Thursday’s action shifted over to the alpine venue at Golden Peak, many were watching Summit’s Alex Guras to see if she could defend her giant slalom state title.
Although she did contribute 58 points to help move the Lady Tigers into second place overall, the Tiger senior had to settle for a third-place result.
“I’m just really sad it’s my last GS,” a tearful Guras said after Thursday’s race. “I’m disappointed, but I had a really good second run, so I’m happy with that.”
Khyla Burrows of Middle Park was Thursday’s winner and Evergreen’s Jenny Hearn was the runner-up.
Guras was closely followed by teammates Leah Canfield (fifth) and Erin Breslin (eighth), who rounded out the scoring for Summit.
“I was really hoping to podium because I got fourth last year,” Canfield said. “But I think I skied as well as I could. I finally just got the hang of slalom, so I think tomorrow will be better.”
Breslin was clearly disappointed with her performance, but remained optimistic about her team winning its fourth consecutive championship.
“We have tomorrow too,” she said. “I’m not too worried about it.”
The Tigers (320 points) enter the second day of state competition six points behind Aspen and 16 points ahead of Middle Park, which is currently holding on to third place.
Tigers alpine coach Tory Hauser seems to believe the Lady Tigers can get the job done.
“The girls are still in it,” he said. “Their second runs weren’t real good, but we’ll fight back tomorrow and have a better day on the girls side, for sure.”
Adam Boffey can be contacted at (970) 668-4634, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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