Another day at the office for SHS alpine skiers
LOVELAND – An individual win. A first and second place in the girls and boys team standings. Eight skiers in the top 20 of the two races.”We did OK,” SHS coach Tory Hauser said.Just OK?”It’s competitive,” he added with emphasis. “It’s so competitive.”Without the Tigers, Friday’s high school giant slalom at Loveland wouldn’t have been nearly as tough for the rest of the field.
SHS junior Katie Hartman won the race for the second straight week, coming off her GS win in Aspen. Senior Shelly Miller took third for Summit, 2.33 seconds back of Hartman, and freshmen Chelsey Fretz (15th) and Erin Breslin (16th) also finished in the top 20 to boost Summit’s team standing. On the strength of the top three finishers, the Tigers edged a deep Steamboat squad for the victory, 165.5-165.On the boys side, senior Josh Stuhr continued his strong final high school season with a fourth-place finish. He crossed the line just .4 seconds slower than the day’s winner, Spencer Woolwine of Middle Park.Junior Tanner MacDonald skied to seventh for Summit, while freshman Zach Fretz and sophomore Tanner Bardin claimed spots 10 and 11. Just as in the girls race, 100 skiers finished the two-run race.As a team, the Tiger boys took second behind fellow powerhouse Aspen.Despite the first and second in the team standings – placings that were keyed by the squad’s top racers – Hauser said he was happier about getting the young racers on the team qualified for the state championships, which Summit will host Feb. 18-19 at Keystone. Friday’s qualifiers included freshmen Zach Wade (26th), Kevin Coleman (29th) and Cooper Krause (42nd).
“When you ask me about team finish, yeah it’s great and it looks nice in the paper, but I don’t care,” he said. “I want to get kids qualified for state, so we have the strongest team possible there. That’s when it matters.”Individually, Hartman’s win on Friday was another step in the right direction for her as the state races near. She won the slalom state title last year as a sophomore and finished runner-up in GS. Because of schedule conflicts that won’t allow her to qualify for slalom this year (she also competes in a number of club events), Hartman’s high school focus on the individual level has turned to GS.”I want to get that title too,” she said of the crown that barely eluded her last year in Steamboat. “I think that’d be really cool.”Summit’s showing in Friday’s boys race was highlighted by Bardin’s 11th-place finish, a performance that began with him starting 148th in the first run. “It was the bibbo of the year,” Hauser said, using a ski racing term for jumping to the top of the results after starting way back in the pack.It helped Bardin that Friday’s race included two runs. The past two high school races had only included one run, which makes it difficult to move up from the bottom of the start order.
Hauser said it was the return of “real racing.””It’s much better to get two,” Bardin said. “You could go for it in the first run.”Summit next races at Eldora in a slalom on Friday. The Tigers will be without many of their top skiers, though, due to important club races taking place at Beaver Creek and Steamboat.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at email@example.com.
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