Summit Alpine ski team starts season strong at Loveland despite stormy conditions
The Summit High School Alpine ski team kicked off its 2022 season at Loveland Ski Area on Wednesday, Jan. 5, with less-than-ideal conditions.
Snow was falling and a harsh wind was whistling across the slopes, which made it hard to see up or down the mountain.
Summit team members braved the storm during the first high school Alpine competition of the season alongside competitors from Aspen, Evergreen and Platte Canyon high schools.
Due to some issues with the timing system, official results were still pending as of Wednesday night.
The girls started off the competition, and senior Jenna Sheldon did not waste a moment warming up to the course conditions. She completed the giant slalom course in a blazing 43.96 seconds on her first run of the day, displaying why she is the returning state runner-up in the event.
Paige Peterson threw down a fast time of her own in 42.95. Peterson was outdone by sophomore Ella Snyder, who is the defending state champion in the giant slalom. Snyder crossed the finish line in 42.81, elevating the Summit girls team early on in the competition.
On the second round of runs, Peterson completed the course in 45.93 to combine for a total of 1:28:88 in order to win her first title of the season.
Peterson was followed by Snyder, who finished in 46.25 in the unofficial results in order to take second overall with a combined time of 1:29.06. Sheldon rounded out the podium in the girls competition with a combined time of 1:29.55.
Snyder’s older sister, Olyvia, finished in fifth, while Keira Horvath finished in sixth.
According to head coach Karl Barth, the top five Summit girls — plus Luci Brady, who finished in eighth — helped to stack the front of the competition in order for the Summit girls to win the meet regardless of the results being unofficial.
The top six Summit skiers also likely qualified for the state meet in February.
“It definitely feels good,” Sheldon said about the girls winning the first meet of the season. “I feel like it has been a long time brewing. A lot these girls are amazing skiers who have definitely put in the time and work and made the commitment to be there, and it’s so much fun to race together.”
On the boy’s side of the competition, the Summit Tigers also fiercely challenged their competitors.
Sophomore transfer from Nederland Stanley Buzek led the way with a quick 40.73 first run and a 43.13 second run in order to combine for an unofficial time of 1:23.86.
Buzek placed second behind Aspen’s Chase Kelly, who had a combined time of 1:23.64. Kelly is the defending state champion in the slalom and giant slalom after sweeping both events as a freshman last season.
Senior Dylan Smith finished in third with a combined time of 1:25.25 and a top run of 42.06. Junior Michael Cheek had a combined time of 1:26.97, which was enough for him to be ranked fifth. Evan Sturgis finished in ninth, while senior Gavin Masters finished tenth.
The Summit boys do not know how they placed as a team due to the timing error, but at least the top four boys on the day likely qualified for the state meet.
“For the first day out and a challenging day, it was pretty good,“ Barth said. ”They skied really well for the challenging conditions.“
The Summit Alpine ski team will compete next on Thursday, Jan. 13, in Steamboat in the slalom. The meet will be hosted at Howelsen Hill and is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m.
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