Summit rugby takes third in state |

Summit rugby takes third in state

GREELEY – The fifth-ranked Summit Tigers Rugby Team finished third at the Colorado Girls State Championship at the University of Northern Colorado last weekend.

The Tigers started strong with a 29-5 win over fourth-seeded Thunder Ridge. Summit moved the ball the length of the field right away before spinning it to Summit High School junior wing Erin Nielsen for the first score. The lady ruggers added four more tries, the first three scored by national team scrum half Wendy da Costa Miranda, junior captain Jara Johnson and flanker Tori Pearson. Junior Kate Chapman scored a try and a pair of conversions to pick up the honor of Player of the Game.

“Kate was a threat every time she touched the ball and set up or scored three of our scores,” said Summit coach Suzanna Barth.

Once the Tigers reached the semi-finals, the day was hot and top-ranked Fort Collins awaited.

The combination of the opponents’ aggressive play, the 75-degree heat and the lack of rest time saw the collapse of the Tigers as they dropped the game 33-3.

“There is no doubt that Fort Collins was better on the day, but it was close until the end, and then the girls had nothing left in the tank,” said Summit team director Karl Barth. Despite playing into the wind, Summit only trailed 5-0 at the half and 12-3 late into the game when Chapman connected on a long penalty kick. Then the team hit a wall and Fort Collins rung up 21 unanswered points.

By Sunday, the Summit girls overcame a slow start to storm home against East High School to finish third and avenge their loss in the season opener. East dominated early, building an 11-0 lead before Summit scored 19 points to claim the win. Miranda and fellow national team teammate Kate Orlin helped the Tigers cranked up the pace and were rewarded with a score by Orlin and try through the backs with senior center Allison Hill feeding freshman wing Courtney Clark for the score. Chapman made a difficult conversion from the sidelines to edge Summit into the lead 12-11. The Tigers kept the pressure on and Orlin touched down again with Chapman converting for the final points.

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