Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

Niwot High skiers rock 2020 state skiing championships


Courtesy Photo

Niwot students Cielle Burnett, Jack Vincent and Emily Creek competed for Nederland High at the state championship.

Thirteenth place in giant slalom at State was music to the ears of freshman skier Jack Vincent, who posted a combined time of 2:18:63. He and two other Niwot High students were at Beaver Creek Feb. 27 and 28 for State slalom and giant slalom races.

Vincent uses a music analogy to describe the two different types of racing. "Slalom, you can think of it like a country-rock song. It's a little bit faster pace," said Vincent. "Then GS is more like an opera. It's slow. You have to keep control through a whole course."

Under bright blue skies, the Niwot racers belted out a strong La Boheme, but skipped a couple of beats of their country guitar licks. Junior Emily Creek came in seventh in GS with a combined time of 2:14:56.

"I skied probably the best GS I skied all season," said Creek. "I felt pretty good about it." She said the competition was stiffer than in previous years. Creek won the slalom title as a freshman in 2018. She said more club skiers are now joining their high school teams. "A lot of kids think it's fun to ski for a varsity sport. Instead of saying I never did high school sports, you have the letter and the pin," said Creek, who had a strong overall season, making the All-State team.

Creek and Vincent also qualified for slalom, but they never found their groove. Both had good first runs before Vincent straddled a gate and did a 360 on his second run, and Creek missed a gate and fell. "I'm glad I went for it on the second run. You kind of let yourself have a limit with your technique and sometimes you don't know where it is," said Creek, who said she pushed that technique to the max.

Vincent says he's working on getting more confident in slalom. "Slalom is a little bit different [than GS]," he said. "It's less of a symphony, just a quick-beat kind of course. You really have to go into like, I'm going to keep going and just finish." As a freshman and a third-generation ski racer, Vincent expects to have a lot more chances to strike the right chord.

The same holds true for the third Niwot racer, freshman Cielle Burnett, who said she was just happy to be at State. She qualified for GS the week before, exceeding her expectations for her first year of high school competition. Burnett came in 88th with a combined time of 2:40:47. "I got one of the last places, but I didn't care," said Burnett. "I'm a freshman. I still have time to get better."

Burnett alternated between the slopes and the pool most of the season. She said it wasn't as hard as it sounds. Swimming practice counts for a ski practice and visa versa, meaning she didn't have to make all the practices for both sports. "I feel like they help each other," she said. "You don't get burnt out or annoyed with always going to one thing. It's always switched up." She's planning to do both sports again next year.

Creek and Vincent aren't done skiing this season. They're both on club teams that race into May. But they love the high school experience. "High school was less stressful and more laid back and fun. You get to enjoy the hill a little bit more," said Vincent.

David Lijla

Niwot freshman Jack Vincent as he passes a gate during the CHSAA state ski championships on Feb. 26 at Beaver Creek.

All three skiers said one of the best things about the season was the support and friendships they developed with one another and their larger team. The Niwot students are a little team within a team. They ski for a different NHS, Nederland, which fields the team and provides the mountain.

Creek, who is 16, or one of the parents drove the skiers up to Eldora in the afternoon for practices a couple days a week. Of course, there was music in the car. Blasting. Vincent says he likes classic rock, but Creek describes it differently. "Jack tries to play weird Sponge Bob music. I'm always telling him no. I get to know what they like to listen to, what a freshman boy listens to," she said, admitting she really enjoyed becoming friends with the younger classmen. "They're cool freshmen."

The Nederland boys ski team came in seventh overall at State and the girls were 10th. Aspen won both titles. The drive is a little easier for them, but it may not be quite as much fun.


Reader Comments


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019

Rendered 04/04/2020 02:52