SHS alpine ski team eyes state championship
Four to watch:Drew Beling – Sr.Kevin Coleman – Sr.Erin Breslin – Sr.Chelsey Fretz – Sr.Coach’s Quote: “I think we can (win a state championship) on both sides. We still have good skiers, but we’re not going to walk away with every meet. As easily as we can win, we can lose as well. It’s going to be tight.”- Tory Hauser
FARMER’S KORNER – Low numbers don’t correlate to lowered expectations for the Summit High School alpine ski team.The Tigers have fewer skiers than last year – losing some to graduation and others who won’t participate this season due to conflicting commitments – but coach Tory Hauser said both teams still have enough to compete for a state championship.”We’re nowhere near as deep as last year,” Hauser said, “but I think we can (win a state championship) on both sides. We still have good skiers, but we’re not going to walk away with every meet. As easily as we can win, we can lose as well. It’s going to be tight.”The season opens today with a giant slalom at Copper Mountain. The girls team, which has captured five consecutive state championships, returns several key components. Erin Breslin and Chelsey Fretz will lead a squad that features six seniors. “You always want to repeat,” Hauser said. “Especially when the girls get to be seniors, because that’s a cool thing to have after they leave.””That’ll be sweet if we can continue it,” said Fretz. “I haven’t seen (other teams) compete yet, so I can’t say anything right now. It all happens at the end anyway, it doesn’t matter what happens until we get (to the state races in Steamboat).”
Hauser said juniors Meigan Canfield and Lara Getz, along with the six seniors, will give the team eight girls who can finish in the top 15.On the boys side, Hauser believes he has three skiers who can compete with anyone in the state, but that might not add up to a state championship.”We have good skiers,” Hauser said. “Kevin (Coleman), Zach (Fretz) Drew (Beling) will compete, but you need three to score – if something happens to our top guys, we’re going to be in trouble.”Last year the SHS’ boys team won every meet it participated in with the exception of state, where their score was combined with the Tigers’ Nordic team.Beling, a senior, said he expects the team “to do what it always does – win.””Dominate each race,” Beling said, “that’s what I want to do.”Beling said there was a bitter taste left in his mouth after state.”We had our worst day in the state meet,” Beling said. “We only won by three points and didn’t have enough to pick up our Nordic team. I think we can do just as well as we did last season.”
The smaller group this season is due in part to scheduling conflicts with club races.When the state meet takes place on Feb. 21-22, for example, there’s a major club race scheduled for Telluride. If the skiers can’t compete in at state, they aren’t allowed to participate on the team, Hauser said.”I had a handful of kids who are good racers that aren’t even going out for the team this year,” Hauser said. “We’re going to miss some really good kids. The toughest thing is they were seniors and I was really looking forward to having them this year. … It’s a bummer – the people over in CHSAA don’t care, all they had to do was change the date of state to a week earlier and everyone could’ve competed, but they didn’t want to do that.”Hauser pointed to a number of other schools, including perennial rivals Aspen and Steamboat, that also are dealing with thin rosters.”They’re an awful lot of kids who would be participating at other places who won’t this year,” he said. “It’s effecting everyone.”Josh Salerno can be contacted at (970) 668-4633, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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