Thursday, Jan. 12 marked the season’s first Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) slalom race for the Colorado High School Ski League. Sunny skies, mild temps and long, challenging course sets made for a great day of racing.

On the womens’ side, senior Rowynn Slivka once again led the team with two fast top-ten runs, finishing fifth overall. She was followed by teammates Keira King in 20th, Lilly Leddington in 31st, Annie McFee 35th, Susie Bullock 36th, Laya Foley 37th, Gemma Nagel 38th, Maya Nagel 40th, Avery Milne 51st, Rinnen Borton 52nd, Gabbie Tait 54th and Stella Zettler 59th. Clara Kirr had the only Panther disqualification after incorrectly hiking after skiing out of a technical section on the pitch. The team finished sixth  ahead of Clear Creek and Evergreen high schools.

On the mens’ side, freshman Jake Cairns finished 19th overall, followed by teammates Raymond Harvey in 33rd and Troy Baker in 39th. Freshman Luke Regan skied out of both runs. The Panthers finished fifth overall ahead of Clear Creek, Evergreen and Vail Mountain School.  

“All four course sets really challenged our skiers,” said coach Danielle Ryan. “We aren’t used to skiing courses this long yet in the season.  We had some kids hook tips and hike, but across the board they worked hard and kept pushing.”  

So far this season the team has only trained slalom at Dutch Henry Hill in Leadville, which is less than a quarter the length of Thursday’s courses. Nevertheless, the Panthers qualified three racers — Slivka, King and Cairns — for the slalom state championships by finishing in the top 25 percent of the field. The Panthers will compete in slalom again on Friday, Jan. 20 in Eldora.

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