Summit girls win season-opening GS at home
COPPER MOUNTAIN – Two months ago, Tanner Bardin was in a wheelchair. Now, the Summit High School junior is not only back on his feet, he’s racing for the Tigers’ alpine ski team.Bardin broke his pelvis in mid-October following a motocross accident.With his ski season in doubt just weeks ago, Bardin proved that he is back with a vengeance by taking ninth place overall in Friday’s season-opening high school giant slalom at Copper Mountain. “It still hurts a little, but for the most part it feels really good,” he said. Bardin, who finished with a combined time of 1 minute, 21.72 seconds, was Summit’s top male finisher.Summit coach Tory Hauser advised Bardin to take a slightly cautious approach in his first race back, but Bardin said he was trying not to be too tentative.”I figure I’ve already felt the pain,” he said. “So I might as well go for it.””It’s incredible,” Hauser said. “We didn’t expect him to be getting a start this early and we wanted him to be pretty conservative. He came up with a great game plan and skied it … I’m very pleased with how he did.”
Erin Breslin finished second overall, with a combined time of 1:20.66, to lead the victorious girls team.An out-of-breath Breslin was all smiles following her second run.”My first run was better because I got on the course earlier,” she said. “Starting position really matters, especially on soft snow like this. In these conditions, the course gets rutted very quickly.”Alex Guras was Summit’s fastest girl after the first run but faltered her second time down the course.”Alex probably would have won the race but then she made a tactical mistake on her second run,” Hauser said. “She went into a tuck and then she was late the rest of the way.”Guras raced despite suffering a recent back injury.”My run was weird, I kept getting late and then the pitch kind of kicked my butt,” a disappointed Guras said. “It was a tough set, my skis just weren’t turning.”Although she wasn’t at the top of her game, Guras still managed to take third place with a combined time of 1:21.41.
Chelsey Fretz also cracked the top 10 for Summit, finishing eighth with a combined time of 1:24.52.Despite missing some of its top racers, Summit’s boys team skied respectably, putting four skiers in the top 30 and finishing fourth out of 14 teams. Joining Bardin in the top 30 were Brian Joyce (14th, 1:23.05), Andrew Otto (26th, 1:25.67) and Drew Hauser (28th, 1:25.89).”I don’t know who set the course but I like it, it kept me on my toes,” Drew Hauser said. “It’s our home race at our home mountain so it makes it that much better.”Like Hauser, Otto said he was glad to be racing at Copper. “We don’t train here but most of our kids know the hill well,” he said. “It was a pretty big advantage.”According to Tory Hauser, the Summit boys probably would have taken second if Zach Wade’s second run had been properly timed.
The racer in front of Wade fell, then hiked part way up and eventually finished just one second ahead of Wade. As a result, race officials were unable to record the Summit sophomore’s time and he was forced to take his run over. Wade fell on his third run of the day and did not finish the race.”Zach really got hosed,” Hauser said. “He skied really fast on the run that he had to take over.”Nearly 250 racers competed in Friday’s GS, which made for a long race day.Due to a time crunch and inclement weather, only the top 80 finishers on each side were allowed to take a second run.”The course held up well and it was a good race overall,” Tory Hauser said. “I was a little disappointed that we had a few girls fall on the second run because some of them would have been right up there. But there’s still more races and plenty of chances to qualify for state.”Summit’s next race is a slalom, Jan. 6, at Steamboat.Adam Boffey can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13631, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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