Middle Park finishes off second straight girls’ state ski title
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado
SUMMIT COUNTY – Middle Park senior Rylee Burrows sat in second place as she got ready to take her second run in Friday’s slalom race at Keystone.
Although she trailed Battle Mountain’s Kendall VanHee by less than a second, Burrows wasn’t focused on winning her second individual title in two days at the Colorado High School State Ski Championships. Rather, the only goal Burrows had was to make it to the bottom of the hill without a fall.
“I was trying to finish more than just go fast. Doing it for the team, I guess,” she said. “It’s a good team event, and we all have to do what we can so we can win.”
And that’s what she did.
Burrows had the fastest second-run time of any girl in the field, clinching the individual slalom title over VanHee and helping her team take home back-to-back girls’ state ski championships.
“It feels great,” said Burrows, who won the giant slalom title Thursday. “It really is cool to have everyone do so well and win it.”
Middle Park’s impressive showing in alpine and a solid day in Nordic thwarted any hopes of a comeback by Summit High. The Tigers trailed by 37 points heading into Day 2 of the meet, and despite top-five finishes from Julia Hayes in Nordic and Miranda Sheeley in alpine, they couldn’t make up any ground.
Steamboat Springs finished third in the overall girls’ team standings.
Tracie Kroneberger and Taylor Grauer finished third and eighth, respectively, for Middle Park in slalom, and Nordic skier Samantha Berggren wound up second in the skate race.
The skate race, held at the Frisco Nordic Center, was won by Vail Mountain School. VMS’s Lauren Zdelchlik, a Summit County native, was the top individual finisher in the mass-start field, while teammates Amelia Ortiz and Sally Ryerson finished third and fourth, respectively.
Zdelchlik was trailing Middle Park’s Berggren until late in the race.
“I really worked the gradual downhill and just tucked in behind,” she said of how she closed the gap. “It’s really fun to see all my teammates coming in behind me, though.”
Finishing fifth in the skate was Thursday’s classic champion, Julia Hayes of Summit. Although Hayes wasn’t too disappointed in her finish, the junior did feel that winning the day before may have drained her a bit.
“Yesterday was definitely one of my most exciting days ever, and … you want to live in the moment, but you have to think of what’s ahead,” she said. “I focused as best I could today, this morning and up until race time.”
Still, Hayes felt the final race was a nice finish to what had been an outstanding season.
“I’m a little disappointed with today, but I can’t complain,” she said. “Fifth in the state isn’t bad, and that beats me by a long ways from last year. I’m proud of the improvement that I made, and next year will be a new year, and it’ll be better.”
In the slalom race, Sheeley was fourth for Summit.
Shelbee Wood (11th) and Stefanie Walters (13th) were Summit’s next best finishers.
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