SHS girls open huge lead at state races |

SHS girls open huge lead at state races

Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk Summit High junior Tanner MacDonald uses every centimeter of edge on his skis while putting together the first of two stellar runs that made him the giant slalom state champion at Keystone on Friday. The Tiger boys are attempting to win their third straight state title.

KEYSTONE and BRECKENRIDGE – Surprise, surprise. Behind a balanced alpine and Nordic attack that carried them as usual on Friday, the defending state champion Summit High School ski teams both stand a good chance at defending their crowns today on home snow. Day one of the state championships left the Tigers – who swept last year’s state titles in Steamboat, the 29th and 30th in the school’s storied history on the slopes – with a huge lead on the girls side, and a five-point deficit for the boys to make up against perennial rival Aspen.

Two Summit athletes, alpine junior Tanner MacDonald and his Nordic classmate Brittany Perkins, won individual state titles by wide margins to pave the way for their teams in the overall standings. MacDonald all but predicted his win in the giant slalom on Keystone’s ultrasteep Go Devil course, and Perkins repeated as the state’s freestyle champ at the Gold Run Nordic Center in Breckenridge.The girls lead Aspen by 19 points (327-308), while the boys need to make up every point they can in today’s final events, the slalom and classic races. Steamboat posted a strong showing in the Nordic races, but its alpine team doesn’t seem like it’s going to be able to keep the Sailors close enough to contend.Speaking of the boys’ title chase, SHS alpine coach Tory Hauser said, “We knew it would be close, and it’s really close.”Aspen alpine skier Jackson Davis said he’s happy it’s become a two-horse race: “We were hoping it would come down to Summit and us. We were bummed about last year.”

In Friday’s GS, Summit’s girls put six skiers in the top 17, including three in the top 10. Senior Shelly Miller finished fifth, and freshmen Chelsey Fretz and Laurel Broten skied to seventh and 10th, respectively. Junior Katie Hartman – the defending state champ in slalom – was well on her way to winning the girls GS championship, but she missed a gate late in her second run and was disqualified.Led by MacDonald’s win, three SHS skiers finished in the top seven of the boys GS. Senior Josh Stuhr took sixth, and freshman Zach Fretz matched his twin sister’s seventh-place standing.Perkins highlighted a good showing for Summit’s girls in Friday afternoon’s freestyle; her sister Briana (fifth) and Shannon Sonnett (11th) also scored points.

Junior Patrick Neel led the Tiger boys’ Nordic scorers in fifth, with classmates Kevin Soller and Matt Bowers finishing seventh and 13th, respectively.The action continues today with the slalom at Keystone (9:30 a.m.) and the mass start classic at Gold Run (3:30 p.m.).Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at

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