Tigers Alpine ski team awaits more snow to start defending girls state title

Summit High School Alpine ski team racer Jenna Sheldon navigates gates while skiing the slalom course during the Colorado High School State Alpine Ski Championships at Loveland Ski Area on March 12.
Jason Connolly/For the Summit Daily News

Much like the Summit High School Nordic ski team, the Alpine ski team is patiently awaiting more snow in order to start on-snow training for the 2021-22 season.

For now, both teams are stuck doing dryland training, which for the Alpine ski team consists of weight room work, plyometrics and other conditioning.

However, the members of the team are getting to make some early season turns.

“Many of our student-athletes are on-snow training with their (ski) clubs, and the rest are free skiing at this point,” coach Karl Barth said.

Barth also said he is hoping to start formal, on-snow, Alpine-specific training early next week at Copper Mountain Resort and Keystone Resort, with a couple of training sessions planned per week until Christmas break. After Christmas break, the team will ramp up its training to prepare for the competition season.

One of the major problems the team had last year — and is struggling with this year — is figuring out when it can get out on the mountain during the school week as Copper does not offer night skiing and Keystone does not offer night skiing during the week. But the team has once again found a way in which to make its practices work.

“With some student rescheduling done by our awesome counseling department and some really passionate teachers, we are training Tuesday to Thursday from 2 to 4 p.m.” Barth said.

The girls Alpine skiing team graduated some valuable seniors last year, including Camille Thompson, who was all-state in slalom, and Bryton Ferrari, the team’s captain.

Although these girls will be missed by the team, the Tigers will rely on their depth to duel with Aspen High School for a second consecutive Alpine skiing state title in February.

The team will be led by two-time slalom state champion Olyvia Snyder, who will look to capture a third and final title this season.

The team will also be led by senior Jenna Sheldon, who finished second to Snyder in the slalom and placed second in the giant slalom at state. Both Snyder and Sheldon will lean on each other in practice in order to push for their bests this competition season.

Outside of the leadership by the two seniors, the girls Alpine ski team will also have a strong group of underclassmen to support the team.

Ella Snyder, the younger sister of Olyvia, will look to defend her own state title in the giant slalom after she won the event as a star freshman last year.

Sophomores Cora Jackson and Luci Brady will be two girls to pay attention to this season as they strive to round out the team scoring in order to ensure the Tigers win another Alpine team title.

Summit High School Alpine ski team racer Ella Snyder wears a creative T-shirt while skiing her final run on the slalom course during the Colorado High School State Alpine Ski Championships at Loveland Ski Area on March 12.
Jason Connolly/For the Summit Daily News

On the boys side, the team lost presumed returners Keaton Smith and Jack Hodge, but the Tigers also added a few boys, which will provide them with enough talent to hopefully improve upon a seventh-place team finish last year.

The team adds senior Dylan Smith and sophomore transfer Stanley Buzek, who finished seventh in the slalom as a freshman for Nederland last season.

The two additions will join the core of the Tigers boys Alpine ski team, which consists of seniors Gavin Masters and Kevin Reddell, juniors Michael Cheek and Jackson Campbell, and sophomore Wyatt Huston.

“The boys were solid last year, and we are hoping to build on that and challenge the top five this year,” Barth said.

Both squads will open the 2022 Alpine ski season after the new year on Jan. 5, when they will compete at Loveland Ski Area in the giant slalom discipline.

Summit Tigers Alpine skiing schedule

• Jan. 5 at Loveland, giant slalom, 8:30 a.m.

• Jan. 13 at Howelson Hill in Steamboat Springs, slalom, 8:30 a.m.

• Jan. 21 at Copper Mountain Resort, slalom, 8:30 a.m.

• Jan. 28 at Beaver Creek, giant slalom, 8:30 a.m.

• Feb. 4 at Keystone Resort, giant slalom, 8:30 a.m.

• Feb. 11 at Beaver Creek, slalom, 9 a.m.

• Feb. 17-18: State at Winter Park, 10 a.m.

• Feb. 25: Skimiester Championships at Howelson Hill

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