Summit, Aspen take state championships |

Summit, Aspen take state championships

Ryan Slabaugh

For the second-straight day, Summit County’s Tucker Burton won the girl’s slalom race by more than a second, recording a time of 1 minute, 32.2 seconds, and helping her team record the team slalom championship. Aspen’s Packy West took the boys’ competition in 1:27.78, as the Skiers won Saturday’s slalom.

The overall state championships, combining Nordic and alpine results, went in reverse order. Aspen took the women’s state championship, while Summit won the men’s state title by a six points over Aspen.

VMS finished fourth among the guys, tops among teams in the Vail valley, while the Battle Mountain boys placed fifth in the state.

Battle Mountain’s third-place finish in the women’s slalom Saturday marked the best alpine place for the locals. Vail Mountain School placed eighth, while Eagle Valley, the host school, finished 11th. VMS’ Lauren Arnold (eighth) and Battle Mountain’s Courtney Robinson (ninth) were the top locals.

In the men’s race, VMS placed fourth, Battle Mountain finished sixth, and Eagle Valley was a close seventh. Duncan Robinson’s fifth-place finish led all local boys.

“It went well,” Robinson said. “It was a quick course. You had to be on it all the way. It was steep and (despite the snow), actually was pretty fast.”

In the Nordic race at the Vail Nordic Center, the competitors braved a blizzard and another tough course. VMS’ Haleigh Armstrong finished third for the second-straight day, less than a minute behind the state champion. Battle Mountain’s Meghan Meehan finished ninth, while Eagle Valley was led by a 12th-place finish from Kim Smith. The Devils used Jill Ewing’s 13th-place finish and Katie Wick’s 20th-place performance to finish fourth, tops in the valley.

“I’m just ecstatic,” Devils coach Glen Ewing said. Ewing was named the Nordic coach of the year for the second-straight season. “I wasn’t really expecting this. It’s definitely an honor.”

VMS’s Sylvan Ellefson placed ninth in the boys’ freestyle race, tops among locals.

Locals snag several season awards

When it came to the alpine league awards, given to the team with the best three performances in each event, the Lady Huskies just dominated. Battle Mountain took both the slalom and giant slalom season awards, with Summit finishing second in the giant slalom and Nederland earning runner-up honors in the slalom competition.

Eagle Valley’s girls nordic team finished second in the Nordic freestyle and classic league, with Summit winning both boys and girls freestyle and classic season awards. The Devils’ finish was the best in school history.

VMS showed up at the awards ceremony and ended up all over the podium for the Skimeister awards, given to the best overall Nordic and alpine performances on the season. Courtney Robinson and Haleigh Armstrong went 1-2 in the girls totals, while Sylan Ellefson, Duncan Robinson and Josh Smith took 1-2-3 for the boys.

“This was my first year doing Nordic,” Ellefson said. “This is my first year for Skimeister, so I’m pretty happy. I did a little bit better in the freestyle today than the alpine, but that’s the way it’s been all season.

For Robinson, the award hasn’t just been in the back of her mind all season.

“Actually, it’s been in the front. It’s been my main goal,” Robinson said.

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