Summit’s Hayes takes state title in classic
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Summit County, Colorado
SUMMIT COUNTY – For Summit High’s Julia Hayes, this Nordic ski season had been a bit frustrating. Despite never finishing outside of the top-3 in a single race this winter, Hayes didn’t record a single win.
Until Thursday, that is.
The Summit junior blitzed a stacked field at the Frisco Nordic Center to win the Colorado state championship in classic by more than 4 seconds.
“I was just trying to prove that I’m not a second-place skier,” Hayes said. “I just went out and gave it 100 percent on every foot of the course.”
And her finish helped propel the Summit High girls’ ski team into second-place overall in the state meet behind only Middle Park High School.
“We did pretty well,” Hayes said of her team. ” … I know that everyone skied as best as they could today.”
Combining Middle Park’s win in Thursday’s alpine giant slalom race at Keystone and its second-place finish in Nordic, the defending state champion has a commanding 37-point overall lead over Summit heading into today’s final two races.
Nederland High School is in third place.
All team points are unofficial until the completion of competition today.
In Colorado high school skiing, the overall state team champion is determined by an overall point total between the two alpine events (GS and slalom) and the two Nordic events (classic and skate).
Middle Park’s Rylee Burrows gave her team an early boost by dominating the field in the GS.
On a day when most skiers struggled through the snowy weather and the steep, pinballing pitch on Keystone’s Go Devil run, Burrows was nearly flawless. The speedy senior navigated Keystone’s slick course in a two-run time of 2:22.99, topping Summit’s Miranda Sheely by nearly six seconds.
“I thought it was really fun,” Burrows said of the tricky conditions that left most skiers struggling. “It sounds like a bunch of girls were late down (toward the bottom), but I had a course report, so I kind of stayed ahead of it.”
For Sheely, second place was a little bitter sweet, as her team had two of its top skiers fail to put together two clean runs.
“It got kind of rough on that first run, but we just have to stay ahead of it,” the Summit sophomore said. “I’m happy with it. … We should’ve gotten first, but I’m happy with getting second today.”
Middle Park’s Tracie Kroneberger was third in the GS, while Kimberly Newton of Vail Mountain School and Aspen’s Sarah Gregory were fourth and fifth, respectively.
In Nordic, the race simply belonged to Hayes.
The Summit junior was the seventh skier to hit the course in the race’s interval starts, but by the time she finished, Hayes had passed six other racers.
Still, when she crossed the finish line, Hayes didn’t believe that her first win finally came.
“I was terrified that I was going to get second again,” she said, ” but it turned out the way I wanted it to.”
Middle Park’s Samantha Berggren was second in the race, while Lauren Zdechlick of Vail Mountain School was third.
The competition continues today with slalom at Keystone starting at 9:30 a.m. The Nordic skate race is at 2:30 p.m. at the Frisco Nordic Center.
Following the competition, official results will be announced at a banquet at Summit High School at 5:30 p.m.. Awards will be given out at that time as well.
Bryce Evans can be reached at (970) 668-4634 or at email@example.com.
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