Summit freshman Ella Snyder wins Ski Cooper slalom |

Summit freshman Ella Snyder wins Ski Cooper slalom

Sophomore Michael Cheek top racer for Tigers boys

Summit High School Alpine ski team racer Ella Snyder competes in giant slalom during a ski competition at Keystone Resort on Feb. 5.
Photo by Jason Connolly / Jason Connolly Photography

It was so cold at Ski Cooper near Leadville on Thursday that Summit High School Alpine ski head coach Karl Barth described the conditions as “skiing in a giant meat locker.” When Barth put his hands back into his coat after wielding the drill while setting up the course’s gates, it felt like his hand warmer had turned into a cold rock.

Nonetheless, the Tigers skiers took to a direct, long, fast slalom course in the program’s first races at Ski Cooper in as long as Barth could remember. And in the end, freshman Ella Snyder once again impressed en route to a win in the girls races.

Snyder’s combined time of 1 minute and 15.04 seconds on her two fastest runs was two seconds faster than any other girls racer. Snyder’s time — combined with the fifth-place showing of Cora Jackson, ninth-place performance by Victoria Uglyar and 11th-place finish by Bryton Ferrari — earned Summit second place as a team behind Nederland and ahead of Lake County and Durango despite the fact Summit was missing five of its top female skiers.

“It’s nice to see young skiers skiing well,” Barth said. “We didn’t find out the scoring until after and, by the eyeball test, I think it looked like it was going to be pretty close between the top two (girls), so it was neat to see Ella won.”

The Tigers boys also finished second behind Nederland led by sophomore Michael Cheek’s fifth-place finish (1:17.54).

Cheek’s skiing was super strong in what Barth said was the last time he can remember in his 17 years coaching that the entire boys team, 10 skiers, didn’t have a single disqualification or did not finish. Cheek’s time of his top-two combined runs came on a day when the boys skiing was next level, evidenced by the fact last year’s state champion Toby Scarpella of Durango finished in third (1:14:33) behind winner Aidan Olsson of Nederland (1:11:10) and runner-up Stanley Buzek of Nederland (1:12:94).

The Tigers top boys skiers after Cheek included Gavin Masters in sixth (1:19:53) and Jackson Campbell in seventh (1:21:11). Wyatt Huston raced to ninth and Keaton Smith to 13th place.

“Gavin has been skiing great in practice, and he’s really aggressive,” Barth said. “They all skied well, but those couple (Nederland) kids there just had unbelievable runs.”

Barth said the Tigers are off next week for winter break before potentially racing the following week before the state championships, scheduled for March 11 (giant slalom) and March 12 (slalom) at Loveland Ski Area.

Summit High School Alpine ski team racer Michael Cheek competes in giant slalom during a competition at Keystone Resort on Feb. 5.
Photo by Jason Connolly / Jason Connolly Photography

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