Eight Middle Park skiers qualify for State
Special to the Sky-Hi News
There has been a lack of snow lately this ski season, but even without fresh snow, the Middle Park High School ski team has been having a productive season thus far. With five races under their belt, Middle Park will be taking eight of their 20-member squad to the state competition in Keystone next week.
Seniors Kelsey Fagan, Olivia Butrymovich, and Becca Bolen, Junior Cole Riccio, and Sophomores Sarah Bausano, Lukas Compel, Lainey Nabhan, and Ryleigh Sutcliffe will be representing the Panthers in both slalom and giant slalom, come next week.
Head coach Scott Sutcliffe is excited to be bringing so many athletes to the big show next week.
“This is the largest group of athletes that I have ever had qualified for the state meet during my time coaching at Middle Park,” said Sutcliffe,
“All of our kids have put up such a tremendous effort this season, and it has been exciting for me, as a coach, to watch them achieve success.”
Both styles of ski racing are unique. Slalom incorporates a tighter style race course with single gates that are knocked down by the racer using pole or shin guards. Giant slalom is a more distanced or spread out course that uses panel gates, the more traditional or more recognized discipline of ski racing.
The Panthers have had some impressive finishes both from its members as well as team finishes. Top finishes this season went to Cole Riccio, who acquired one first place finish, two second place finishes, and one third place finish. Lukas Compel also had a 14th place finish.
The boys team also had a second place overall finish in a Winter Park giant slalom race.
Becca Bolen also received two fourth place finishes this season in giant slalom races. Lainey Nabhan also had a fifth place finish. Other top finishes of the season went to Sarah Bausano, Kelsey Fagan, and Olivia Butrymovich with seventh, eighth, and ninth respectively.
The girls team skied away with two team third place finishes this year as well.
Senior co-captain Kelsey Fagan is proud of the effort put forth by the panther skiers.
”The team has worked extremely hard this year and we have a great group of athletes going to state. We are hopeful for some top place finishes from both boys and girls,” she said.
The Panthers will be traveling to Keystone for the Colorado High School Ski State Championships. The giant slalom race will be held Thursday, Feb. 19, and the slalom race will be on Friday, Feb. 20. Wish your Panthers good luck!
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November is a hit-or-miss snow month, and while this year’s weather wasn’t the best for ski season in Summit County, it also wasn’t the worst.