Vail Mountain sweeps state skiing championships, including first girls title

Boys skiing slalom state Vail Mountain

More photos (Ryan Casey/

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Vail Mountain swept the state skiing championships, capping off a two-day meet by bringing home hardware rarely seen in the school.

It is the first-ever title for the school's girls ski team. The boys, meanwhile, have won just once before — in 1991.

The feat was made more impressive given that the program won just two of the eight individual events — both girls races in the nordic discipline. But the all-around strength of both teams carried the Gore Rangers to the championships.

The championships are the fourth and fifth in school history. The boys title is just the second male championship in any sport for the school. The only other titles have been won by the girls soccer team.

Friday's performance continued what Vail Mountain started on Thursday, when the boys jumped out ahead to lead the field, and the girls sat just five points back in second place.

The Gore Rangers' boys finished with 671 total points, well ahead of second-place Battle Mountain (577 points) and third-place Aspen (567). Summit (560) finished in fourth, and host Steamboat Springs (540) was fifth.

Vail Mountain's girls won a nail-biter: They finished with 610 points, edging both Battle Mountain (606) and Aspen (604). Colorado Rocky Mountain finished in fourth place with 507 points, and Summit (500) was fifth.

Friday's events consisted of the slalom and nordic classic at Howelsen Hill in downtown Steamboat.

Girls state skiing slalom Trinity Chelain Battle Mountain

Trinity Chelain. (Ryan Casey/

Battle Mountain's Trinity Chelain won the girls slalom with a two-run total of 1:35.52. She had finished 12th in the giant slalom on Thursday.

Aspen's Margo McHugh was second to Chelain in the slalom (1:36.5), and Battle Mountain's Haley Frischholz (1:36.55) was third.

Vail Mountain's Whitney Merriman helped her team with a sixth-place finish that gave her team 55 points in the event.

But it was in the nordic classic where the Gore Rangers picked up their title.

Bridget and Maddie Donovan finished first and second in the event, amassing 119 points between the two. Teammate Lyle Shipp was sixth, adding another 55 points, for an event total of 174 points that provided the final four-point edge.

Boys skiing slalom state Andrew McCawley Stamboat Springs

Andrew McCawley. (Ryan Casey/

The boys slalom saw hometown senior Andrew McCawley of Steamboat Springs win the event in 1:26.15. Both of his runs were the fastest of the field. He finished eighth in the GS on Thursday.

Aspen's Trey Thorpe (1:27.94) was second, and Vail Mountain's Michael Resnick (1:28.36) finished third.

Vail Mountain also had Shane Cole place fifth, and Peer Carners finish sixth, giving them an event-best 169 points.

Battle Mountain's Franklin Reilly won the boys nordic classic, ahead of Vail Mountain teammates Cameron Wolfe and Peter Littman. The Gore Rangers also had Ian Hardenbergh place sixth — again leading the event with 171 points.

In fact, Vail Mountain's boys had the highest point total in each of the four events over the two-day championships.

The ski league also announced its season-long awards on Friday night at the banquet held at Steamboat Springs High School. Haley Frischholz of Battle Mountain was named the girls skimeister, while Andrew McCawley of Steamboat Springs was the girls skimeister.

Girls state skiing slalom Haley Frischolz Battle Mountain

Haley Frischholz. (Ryan Casey/