Tiger girls win season-opening alpine race
VAIL – Senior Shelly Miller’s fourth-place finish led a quartet of Summit High School skiers in the top 10, and the Tiger girls won the season-opening high school alpine race of the season Friday, a giant slalom at Vail.Miller, who missed second place by just .09 seconds, was followed by Chelsey Fretz (fifth), Jenna Sheely (ninth) and Laurel Broten (10th). The race was the first career high school race for Fretz and Broten, both of whom are freshmen.Summit’s 165 points barely edged Aspen (163), the Tigers’ biggest rival on the slopes. Summit’s boys and girls both won the state title last winter, with the girls crown coming after Aspen had won the previous four.
Battle Mountain was third on Friday with 157 points. Each school’s top three seeded finishers score points.”We’re pretty happy as a whole,” Summit coach Tory Hauser said. “I don’t worry about winning the race. We haven’t had a lot of training so just to have the kids finish and do well and build some confidence, that’s the most important thing. As a whole, even our racers who have never raced before, got a lot of experience on that run and feel really good now.”For Miller, a returning all-state skier, Friday’s race was a promising start and came despite some first-run challenges on course.”(The first run) felt really bad. There were the death cookies everywhere, but you just had to push through it and it was fine,” Miller said.
Summit’s team win came despite the absence of junior Katie Hartman, the defending state champion in slalom and the runner-up in GS. Summit also was missing its top six boys skiers, including dual all-stater Taggert Spenst.Still, the Tigers finished respectably, putting four skiers in the top 25.Freshman Mark Miller – Shelly’s younger brother – took 15th to lead the team. Fletcher McDonald (22nd), Brannan Sheely (23rd) and JD Ritchey (25th) weren’t far behind.Steamboat won the boys race, putting three skiers in the top 10 and scoring 165 points, the same total as Summit’s victorious girls. Middle Park finished second with 159 points and Evergreen finished a point behind in third.
Middle Park’s Spencer Woolwine was the fastest individual in the boys race, winning by nearly a second. Battle Mountain freshman Christa Ghent won the girls race by 1.28 seconds.The next race on the alpine schedule is a GS at Winter Park Jan. 7.Eagle County correspondent Nate Peterson contributed to this report.
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