McDonald leads large group of all-state skiers
summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
FARMER’S KORNER ” If you ask Summit High School alpine ski coach Tory Hauser why Fletcher McDonald was named this year’s male alpine skier of the year, he’ll give you a simple answer.
“He’s the epitome of what a high school racer is,” Hauser said. “He comes to practices, makes all the meets, helps the younger kids and just has a great attitude.”
McDonald, who won the giant slalom state championship on Thursday and finished third in Friday’s slalom to help Summit’s boys to a second-place finish behind Aspen, was one of 11 Tigers (alpine and Nordic combined) to receive all-state honors.
The Summit senior was joined on the alpine side by Zach Fretz, Brannan Sheely, Hunter Black and Drew Beling (GS only). Lady Tigers Alex Guras, Joey Chevalier (slalom only), Erin Breslin (GS only) and Leah Canfield (GS only) were also named along with Nordic skiers Tyler Reinking and Briana Perkins.
“It makes sense,” Hauser said of the largest group of Summit all-staters he’s seen during his five-year coaching tenure. “It feels very representative of how the year went.”
Each all-state alpine category included 10 athletes, while the Nordic Freestyle and Classical disciplines, featured five and six, respectively.
Overall scoring throughout the season was the lone criteria for being named all-state, but McDonald’s award was subjective.
“All the coaches voted on it,” Hauser said. “One of the things I wrote on my nomination form was that this is a kid who sits in the front seat of the bus. He’s not in the back causing problems.”
Hauser, who helped lead the Lady Tigers to their fourth consecutive championship, received alpine coach of the year honors.
“It speaks a lot about our program ” now our team is the most looked up to in the state,” Hauser said. “We have great skiers and we’ve always had great skiers, but they haven’t always won and they haven’t always been such good kids. When I came in, I was a disciplinarian compared to previous coaches ” I took a hard line. … People are buying into the rules and becoming better skiers and kids because of it.”
Hauser also directed plenty of the credit for the Tigers’ success to Team Summit and Quantum Sports Club.
“I’m given those kids,” he said. “I don’t have to spend much time with the top skiers teaching them how to ski.”
Perhaps the best thing about Reinking and Perkins qualifying as all-state skiers, is that they’re both underclassmen.
“I wish they were sophomores,” SHS Nordic coach Gene Dayton said about the pair of juniors, each of whom were named all state in both the classic and skate disciplines. “They’re not only outstanding athletes, but they have outstanding character.”
Perkins won Thursday’s classic and Friday’s freestyle as well as the last three high school races of the regular season.
Reinking walked away from Vail with a sixth-place classic result and a seventh-place finish in the freestyle.
Dayton sang the praises of both his two all-state qualifiers and the Nordic squad as a whole.
“Every time you help a teammate up a hill, you get a little bit closer to the top yourself,” Dayton said. “Our team exemplified that philosophy this year.”
Adam Boffey can be contacted at (970) 668-4634, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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