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Summit Rugby fourth in nation

Shauna Farnell

If it wasn’t able to beat every team in the country, at least the Summit Girls Rugby Club could hang with the best of them. Three close games at the national tournament in Seattle last weekend put the Summit team in fourth place for the third year straight.

“Even though we lost, the games were so close,” said Summit senior Lisa Wallace. “All the girls really came together. It was an amazing team effort. It was the best we’ve probably ever played.”

Summit started off the tournament by beating Kansas City 17-5. The team then lost its second game to a fast-moving Minnesota team 19-8 and lost the final “heartbreaker” to Highlander out of Michigan 10-5.

“They had one good back,” said Summit’s Kelly Moberly. “She was a beast. When she started running, three of us missed the tackle. She was just huge. Of course, that last game, we started all the seniors, and it was a big, emotional game. We played good defense, but they were really big and strong.”

Sally Gentling, who, after helping her team win the state title a couple weeks ago was ranked top player in Colorado, scored the one try for Summit in its last game. But throughout the tournament, team representatives said the athletic highlights mostly consisted of group efforts.

“The moments during the games where we were all working together were the best,” said senior Catherine Boyd. “Getting the ball out and down the field as a team felt better than anything. As a team, it was an excellent experience. We got to watch some good rugby, and just have a really good time together.”

The Summit team has yet to learn if any of its players made the All-American team, but coach Karl Barth said several spectators, parents and coaches from other teams commented on its skills and sportsmanship.

“We were of the same skill caliber of all the best teams out there,” Barth said. “We weren’t upset. We were great representatives for Summit County and for Colorado. A lot of people came up to me to comment on what a class act the team is. Rugby is only a small part of it. Our girls were the class act of the tournament. We got beat in the semi-finals. Half the game, we were better than they were, the other half, they played better. But they scored more points in their better half. Our girls definitely went out with a bang.”


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