Middle Park girls rip up GS at Copper Mountain | SkyHiNews.com

Middle Park girls rip up GS at Copper Mountain

Courtesy photo

For a team with such small numbers, Middle Park High’s alpine skiers sure made a big splash in their first race of the season at Copper Mountain Resort last Friday.

Racing in the giant slalom, the Panther girls took third place as a team, placed three of its racers in or near the top 10 and qualified four of its five skiers for the state meet.

“Our girls did really well for their first race,” said coach Lisa Mirabito. “We have so much talent on this team.”

Middle Park’s Sarah Williams raced to an individual third-place medal in Friday’s GS.

She posted a combined time after two runs of 1:13.4 against a field of 101 finishers from 14 teams.

“Sarah is a good skier, so it was no surprise that she finished so high in the results,” Mirabito said. “She is showing a lot of consistency in her skiing already this season.”

The season-opening GS at Copper Mountain was won by Jenny Allen of Steamboat Springs with a time of 1:10.4. The runner-up was Abby Ghent of Battle Mountain with 1:12.7.

Helping to boost the Panther girls into a third-place team finish were outstanding performances by two other Middle Park skiers. Rylee Burrows raced to a 10th place in 1:14.9 while Kylie Kroneberger placed 11th in 1:15.0.

In what can only be described as an extremely determined effort, the Panthers’ Khyla Burrows, who was last year’s state GS champion, raced to a 35th place in a time of 1:25.3.

What is remarkable about Burrows’ finish is that she is still trying to recover from a broken ankle she suffered this fall playing soccer. She had her cast off for only 10 days prior to Friday’s season-opener.

“We were just hoping for Khyla to start in Friday’s GS; instead she qualified,” Mirabito said. “Her ankle still hurts and she’s in physical therapy, but she’s going to bounce back. She is one strong girl.”

Rounding out the finishes for Middle Park’s girls was the 80th place taken by Brenna Dee. She turned in a racing time of 1:38.0.

In the team results, Middle Park’s girls finished one point behind Summit, who took second place. The winning team was Battle Mountain, who was five points ahead of the Panthers.

“I was really impressed by our girls in their first race,” Mirabito said. “Now that most of them have qualified in GS for state, the pressure is off and they can concentrate on slalom.”

The already small Middle Park’s boys team was able to put one of its three skiers in Friday’s race. The other two still had not gotten in enough practices to qualify to compete.

The Panthers’ Matt Hydrusko raced in the Copper Mountain giant slalom. He placed 69th with a combined time after two runs of 1:28.1.

Friday’s boys GS was won by Fred Norquist of the Colorado Rocky Mountain School with a time of 1:08.6. A total of 97 skiers finished the race.

“Matt is steadily improving his skills and will get qualified,” Mirabito said. “If we can get all three of our boys to finish, we should be solid this season.”

With the holiday break now here, Mirabito is recommending that her skiers get in “plenty of ski time” on their own.

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