Macdonald wins season’s first slalom |

Macdonald wins season’s first slalom

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – It’s not every day that the Summit High School alpine ski team has the opportunity to compete on a world-class slope.Going into Friday’s slalom at Howelsen Hill, the Tigers knew they were competing at the toughest venue on their schedule, Summit coach Tory Hauser said. “It’s one of the hardest hills in the country,” Hauser said. “It’s certainly the toughest that high school kids will ever see.”Howelsen’s daunting reputation proved no match for defending giant slalom state champion Tanner Macdonald, who won Friday’s slalom to lead Summit.After a first run of 36.32 seconds, Macdonald found himself as the early leader. Undeterred by the pressure of the situation, he skied an equally strong second run.”He’s loose, he doesn’t let that stuff bother him,” Hauser said. “He looked like he was just having fun being out there with the high school team.”According to Hauser, both Macdonald and third-place finisher Drew Beling made huge mistakes at the top of their first runs. “They recovered well and put the pedal to the medal the rest of the way down the course,” Hauser said.Macdonald and Beling weren’t the only ones to make mistakes on Howelsen’s challenging course.Out of 125 male racers, only 86 completed their first run. Of the 39 racers who failed to earn a second run, only one was from Summit.”Normally, half the kids take a fall but today many more finished than usual,” Hauser said. “It was good for us.”Hunter Black also cracked the top 10 for Summit with a fourth-place finish. As of press time, second-run times and team results for the slalom were not available. Summit’s boys team was undermanned on Friday as four of its members missed the race because they were suspended.”It didn’t affect team morale, it’s just too bad for them (the four suspended skiers),” Hauser said. “The other guys were happy to get higher starting spots.”The Summit girls also had a strong showing at Friday’s slalom, putting three racers in the top 10. Alex Guras took third, Athena Brownson finished eighth and Erin Breslin was ninth. Out of 12 teams, Summit and Steamboat were the only girls teams to put racers in the top 10.”Steamboat was incredibly tough on the girls side,” Hauser said. “They knew the hill and it was a real advantage for them.”Hauser said his girls team was more focused on the race venue than on their competition.”Girls don’t intimidate them, hills do,” Hauser said. “This tough course put some of them back on their heels a little, but some of them really rose to the occasion.”Nordic freestyleResults from the high school freestyle race held at the Howelsen Hill Rodeo Grounds were not available at press time Friday, SHS head coach Tom Sain said. Sain said he hoped to have complete results by today.Adam Boffey can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13631 or at

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