Perkins showdown at Nordic state races
BRECKENRIDGE – As nerve-racking as an upcoming state championship race can be for a junior in high school, Summit High School Nordic skier Brittany Perkins couldn’t feel more comfortable about this weekend.Not only is Perkins the reigning 5K freestyle state champion on the reigning state champion girls team, but she gets to defend her title at the Gold Run Nordic Center in Breckenridge with her younger sister, freshman Briana, providing some of her stiffest competition. Brittany and Briana will anchor the girls side of the Summit High Nordic team in the school’s attempt to repeat as state champ Friday and Saturday. With several top finishes for both Perkins sisters this season, each knows if she can beat her sister, she has a good chance at beating everyone else.
“I want to go out there and win, but knowing that my sister is my biggest competition, I guess I really just want to beat her,” Briana Perkins said. That may be easier said than done. Brittany has been dominating her opponents all season, and finds it especially rewarding to ski faster than her sister.”Briana only beat me once this year, and it was a sprint,” Brittany Perkins said. “I think I’ll be able to stay ahead of her this weekend. She really wants to beat me, but I’m not going to let her.”Whoever wins, the possibility of sweeping the top two spots is an exciting prospect for both girls.
“We sit at the dinner table every night and think, What if we do it,” Brittany Perkins said. “It would be so awesome.”Summit head coach Tom Sain won’t be surprised if the Perkins girls work their magic again this weekend.”At the beginning of the season (Brittany and Briana) were typically finishing second, third or fourth, but recently they have been winning races by a good bit,” Sain said. “They’re peaking at the right time.”The Perkins aren’t the only Tiger skiers expected to do well this weekend. On the boys side, Sain expects juniors Kevin Soller and Patrick Neel to finish near the front in both races.
“(Soller and Neel) certainly ought to be in the top 10,” Sain said. “We depend on Isaac Phillips to be up there, too.”Matt Bowers and Tyler Reinking have also had good seasons, and should be a factor over the weekend. On the girls side, Mackenzie Jones, Leah Venturoni, Ali Kreamelmeyer and Shannon Sonnett have been solid skiers for the Tigers, and any of them could help propel Summit to another state title.The SHS Nordic team, along with Summit’s alpine team, has won 30 state championships in the school’s storied history. Sain said the team realizes the importance of skiing well at Gold Run this weekend to carry on that tradition.
“Without us beating it into their heads as a coach, I think they grow up in the program with certain expectations,” Said said. “That’s how you breed good skiers and build a good program.”The championships kick off Friday at 3:30 p.m. with a 5K freestyle race using an interval start. The Tigers will then ski in a 5K mass start skate race at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The girls will race first both days.Andy Frame can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at email@example.com.
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