Summit High skiers head into state meet today defending titles
summit daily news
Summit County, Co Colorado
As Summit High Nordic coach Colleen LaVelle said, “Anything can happen” at the Colorado State Ski Championships in Leadville today.
Though both the Summit boys’ and girls’ teams are defending state titles ” the girls are looking for six-straight ” nothing is guaranteed in a format where both Alpine and Nordic results are combined to determine a winner.
“You can’t really predict anything, but we should have some good performances,” LaVelle said last week in regards to her Nordic squad.
The two-day competition kicks off this morning, as the Nordic team hits the snow in the Classic race on the trails at the Colorado Mountain College at 9 a.m. The Alpiners then have their slalom race at noon at Ski Cooper. On Friday, the Alpine team competes in giant slalom starting at 9:45 a.m., and the Nordic team closes out the meet with the skate at 3 p.m.
Summit has an excellent chance of earning titles as a team, both LaVelle and Alpine coach David Ellena said, but the Tigers will also have some individual standouts.
Senior Hunter Black is regarded as the favorite in the boys’ Alpine competition. Black is perfect on the season, having won all four meets he’s competed in by a wide margin.
“I expect Hunter to win,” Ellena said. “As long as he stands up and finishes his runs, he doesn’t have competition that’s close to his level. There are some really good skiers, but he’s just on his own level.”
Ellena also thinks that Doug McIsaac could earn a top-10 finish for his boys’ team.
On the girls’ side, senior Meigan Canfield leads the Tigers, having been their most consistent skier all season. Ellena expects Canfield, along with Hannah Price and Haley Gage, to have good performances.
Both the slalom and giant slalom courses at Ski Cooper are “very flat,” according to Ellena, making any mistake by a skier exaggerated.
“We’re one of two teams that got to train on the course last week, and that’ll give us an advantage,” Ellena said. ” … The course isn’t fast, so if you make a mistake, you’ll lose all of your speed.”
The Nordic team comes into the final meet without a lot of experience.
Sophomore Julia Hayes has been a standout performer for the girls’ side all season, and freshman Tucker McCrerrey has led the boys’ team.
In fact, the boys’ squad only has four skiers ” three freshmen and a sophomore.
Despite the youth movement, LaVelle has high hopes for her team that has finished strongly every time on the snow this season.
“We’re very pleased with our season so far,” LaVelle said, “and hoping to finish very high. … Both Julia and Tucker could finish in the top-10 or hopefully in the top-five.”
Bailey Jefferson and Duncan Koehn also have chances for finishing very high on the girls’ and boys’ sides, respectively, LaVelle said.
The overall state champions are decided Friday after all competitions conclude.
Bryce Evans can be reached at (970) 668-4634 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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