Summit High Nordic, Alpine ski teams join forces at state meet in Durango
Summit High Skiing At States
Brennan Creen, Joey Hodge, Ryan Adis, Jeremiah Vaille, Olyvia Snyder, Grace Karoly, Kenzie Ricardi, Jenna Sheldon, Sam Cheek, Paige Peterson, Victoria Uglyar
Tai-Lee Smith, Noelle Resignolo, Aubree Confer, Opal Koning, Hanna Knickrehm, Maclean Donovan, Kathleen Puc, Peter Haynes, Quinn Weinberger, Zach Smith, Jack Jones, Sam Haynes, Jacob Ammon, Gray Wasson, Alex Morano, Chris Rohlf, Caleb White, Tucker Neal, Samuel Thebeau, Alex Bertonneau, Evan Callahan, Jessy Dorton, Will Cannon, Gray Wasson, Peter Vos
Through sickness and copious snowfall, the Summit High School Nordic and Alpine ski teams are set to compete at the Colorado High School Ski League state championship meet in Durango on Thursday and Friday.
The Alpine ski team is bringing four boys and six girls total, who will race in Thursday’s slalom and Friday’s giant slalom events, while the Nordic team has 18 boys and seven girls registered to compete. The forecast for Purgatory through Friday evening is snow and more snow, but Summit High Alpine coach Karl Barth and Tigers Nordic coach Jonathan Mocatta say much the same thing when pondering whether heavy, consistent snow could affect the Tigers racers.
“Everyone has to race in the same conditions,” Mocatta said.
“That’s everybody’s challenge,” Barth said.
The state championship is the one event each year when each school’s Alpine and Nordic teams combine boys and girls scores to produce one boys state skiing champion and one girls team titlist. For the teams and their coaches, it’s a neat way to end the year. It’s an event that channels a level of school spirit not seen at alpine-only and Nordic-only meets throughout the season.
“We don’t meet all year long,” Mocatta said. “We’re not really a team — Alpine and Nordic — until we come to states where we depend on each other.”
Heading into Thursday’s competition, Mocatta is hopeful the Tigers girls Nordic-Alpine team can contend for a top finish considering the consistent team success this season for Summit’s girl skiers. The boys may have a chance at a top-three spot too.
“I think the girls have a really good chance of getting some hardware this year,” Mocatta said. “We’ll see if everybody does well. And if we don’t, we don’t. We’ve had a terrific season, anyway.”
The Tigers’ Nordic ski team has a mixture of a large contingent of younger talent to combine with higher-level, veteran skiers such as seniors Noelle Resignolo and Peter Haynes. Despite some wintertime sickness that has infiltrated the team, both Resignolo and Haynes figure to be in contention to win Thursday’s classic ski and Friday’s skate races at Durango Nordic Center.
In Thursday’s girls classic race, Summit sophomore Tai-Lee Smith is a favorite to podium after she won the 5-kilometer classic race in Aspen on Feb. 2. Smith also was the runner-up at the Jan. 12 Spring Gulch classic race. On the boys side, Quinn Weinberger is a top-10 contender too.
Through the season, Summit has also shown the talent to finish in the top three in skate races. Resignolo in particular has the talent to win Friday’s skate race, evidenced by her win at the Snow Mountain Ranch skate race on Jan. 27. At that event, the Tigers girls finished in second place overall, buoyed by Aubree Confer’s top-10 finish. On the boys skate side, Peter Haynes, Weinberger and Zach Smith all have proven they can contend for a top-10 spot.
In advance of Thursday’s slalom race at Purgatory Resort, Barth knows the smallest of details could make the race shake out differently, especially considering the forecast heavy snowfall.
Summit has several skiers returning to compete at states, including seniors Ryan Adis and Brennan Creen on the boys side and junior Samantha Cheek and senior Grace Karoly on the girls side.
Those returning skiers will be joined by a talented group of first-year state competitors in sophomore Joey Hodge and junior Jeremiah Vaille on the boys side, along with freshman Victoria Uglyar, Paige Peterson, Jenna Sheldon and Olyvia Snyder on the girls side. Summit also qualified two more athletes who, due to illness and an extenuating circumstance, respectively, won’t compete at states: freshman Kenzie Ricardi and sophomore Sophia Henry.
In a super-stacked girls slalom field at states, Barth is hopeful Snyder and Sheldon can repeat some of their strong performances earlier in the season to challenge for a top finish. In the giant slalom, Peterson and Sheldon have proven this year that they can contend with the state’s best while Uglyar, Cheek and Karoly have also skied to solid showings.
At their most recent meet, the Summit High boys giant slalom team finished in fourth place of five teams at El Dora on Feb. 7. Hodge led the way for the Tigers with an 11th place finish while Creen took 15th and Adis earned 20th. At Summit’s most recent slalom competition, at Beaver Creek Ski Resort on Friday, the Tigers took sixth place of seven teams led by Vaille’s 24th-place finish.
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