Summit’s Jenna Sheldon wins coed dual slalom ski tournament at Dutch Henry Hill

Tigers Alpine ski coach says fun, first-of-its-kind event will return

Summit Tiger Alpine skier Jenna Sheldon celebrates after winning the coed dual slalom tournament between Summit and Lake County High School skiers at Dutch Henry Tubing Hill in Leadville on Wednesday.
Photo from Karl Barth

The student-athletes may have needed to hike back up to the start of the course between runs — some of them seven times — but Wednesday’s coed dual slalom at Dutch Henry Tubing Hill in Leadville will be an event Summit Tigers Alpine skiers hope to take part in again.

“The kids had a really good time — that was the best part,” said Tigers Alpine ski head coach Karl Barth. “They were hiking up and skiing and watching each other ski down — it was a throwback to the old days with everyone dressed creatively. We just wanted to give it a shot in the COVID year, trying it out. And it’s definitely not going away. There was lots of talk during the day of bringing it in as a multischool event in the future, because it was really fun.”

On Wednesday, the tournament pitted male and female skiers from Summit and Lake county high schools against each other in a Wild West bracket format. After Summit and Lake County coaches seeded their skiers in a 32-athlete bracket, more than 20 skiers raced on the dual slalom course, which was a little bit longer than a traditional slalom course. It was one Barth said was all about getting your line right with no mistakes.

In a competition format that did not feature timing, Tiger junior Jenna Sheldon defeated Lake County’s Matt Cairns in the championship race thanks to her mistake-free skiing on the immaculate snow tended to by the ski management degree program at the Leadville campus of Colorado Mountain College. Sheldon defeated Tiger teammate Jackson Campbell to advance to the final round. Campbell finished in a tie for fifth place with teammate Gavin Masters, who lost to Cairns in the semifinal. Their teammate Paige Peterson advanced all the way through the consolation bracket to take third place.

Barth said sophomore Michael Cheek also had some good runs on Wednesday, though he and senior Victoria Uglyar went out of the winner’s bracket in the quarterfinal.

In the junior varsity bracket, Summit’s Liam Dalzell won the competition.

Barth also said a fun element of the race was that several race decisions had to go to a “photo finish.”

“In a couple of races it was really just an inch or two (difference),” Barth said. “We had to go to the film and slow it down. It was really pretty cool, like watching (ABC’s) Wide World of Sports or an NFL replay — forward and back, forward and back. It was a great day.”

Summit is next scheduled to race in a slalom event at 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, at Ski Cooper.

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