Saturday, January 12, 2002
Steamboat Springs It might have been Steamboat's home hill, but Tucker Burton claimed ownership of it Friday afternoon.
The sophomore from Summit High School beat out Steamboat's Cassidy Kurtz for first place in the high school slalom event at Howelsen Hill.
In the battle brewing between Burton and Kurtz, Friday marked the second time in a row Burton clenched the lead from Kurtz. The two will meet at least five times before the season is over.
"Tucker is really good. She is going to be a motivation for the rest of the year. I'll be trying to catch up with her," Kurtz said.
In a field of more than 60 racers, Kurtz's first run (35:14) put her in fourth place, and a solid second run (37:17) pushed her into second after Burton.
In the first competition of the year at Summit, Kurtz's time of 1:48:47 placed her right behind Burton, who finished with a time of 1:47:06.
"I was kind of determined more (than in the Summit race) to go out there and attack," Kurtz said. "I think I was nervous at the beginning. I was trying way too hard and made a couple of big mistakes."
Coming out of the first run, Burton was leading with a time of 32:43 and Steamboat's Genny McGeary followed in second with a time of 33:90. Burton followed up in the second run, putting in the best time for the course with 36:52.
"I just came out and skied my best. It's better not to worry about the competition," Burton said.
In her second run, McGeary disqualified when she skied off the course near the finish line after late turns put her behind in the run.
"I was a little disappointed with the second (run). At the beginning of (the) second, I just gave up. (My turns) got really late," McGeary said.
For the girls, Kathryn Eastley of Aspen placed third with a combined time of 1:12:79. Henley Shepherd took the second-best place for the Sailors, coming in 16th with a combined time of 1:27.17.
On the boys' side, Brenden Gormley had the best finish for the Sailors as his combined time of 1:15.49 put him in eighth place out of more than 100 competitors. After a shaky first run put him out of the top 10 going into the second round, Gormley said his second run improved.
"I didn't have anything to lose, so I was going for the win," Gormley said.
Kyle Davis of Summit placed first with a combined time of 1:10.73 and Aspen's Jesse Durrance finished second with a time of 1:12.73. Steamboat's Chris Dombey, with a combined time of 1:18.19, and Trace Adams, with a combined time of 1:18.52, also finished in the top 20.
The Sailors' Nordic ski team will continue the ski competition at home when they host a cross country race today at 1 p.m. at Howelsen Hill.