The Durango High School skiing team earned a big win at the state championships, but the win will come in 2019.
After DHS athletic director Adam Bright made an Olympic-worthy presentation to the ski committee, the Colorado High School Activities Association awarded the 2019 state championships to Durango. Alpine skiing will be held at Purgatory Resort, and there is also a Nordic component to the championships.
This year’s state championships were held at Ski Cooper in Leadville. Aspen won the girls championship with 650.5 points. Battle Mountain was second with 581 points and Vail Mountain placed third with 540 points. The Durango girls placed 12th of 14 schools with 281 points.
Aspen also won the boys championships with 661.5 points. Vail Mountain was second with 572 points and Battle Mountain was third with 563.5 points. The DHS boys placed 13th out of 14 schools with 137 points.
Durango sophomore Madeline Robbins, who won a mountain biking state championship this year, placed fourth in the girls giant slalom with a two-run time of 2 minutes, 16.7 seconds. Platte Canyon senior Alex Cregan won in 2:15.4. Robbins was only six-tenths of a second behind Aspen junior Levyn Thomas for third place. Durango junior Analise Gates was eighth in the event in 2:18.1. DHS freshman Abbey Shepard was 45th in 2:26.2 and freshman Juliana Gans was 70th in 2:35.1.
Robbins also placed fourth in the girls slalom. Her two-run time was 1:13.97, which was 0.17 seconds behind McSwain’s third-place time for Aspen. Nederland’s Emily Creek won the slalom in 1:11.65. Gates was 10th for DHS in 1:14.78, Shepard was 43rd in 1:24.54 and DHS sophomore Claudia Luthy was 68th in 1:32.39.
Durango’s Miles Bronson was the team’s lone Nordic competitor. He finished the classic race 75th in 30:56. The winning time was 16:48 by Vail Mountain’s Cameron Wolfe. Bronson, a freshman, did not compete in the Nordic skate race.
Bronson was Durango’s top finisher in the boys giant slalom. Platte Canyon’s Luke Bailey won the race in 2:09.1. Bronson was 67th in 2:40.1. DHS senior Alexander Fleitz was 69th in 2:44.7.
In the boys slalom, Vail Mountain’s Micahel Resnick won with a two-run time of 1:08.22. Fleitz had the top time for DHS in 50th place in 1:35.19. Bronson was 52nd in 1:40.62.
DHS revived its skiing program during the 2016-17 school year and introduced a Nordic team for this season. The Demons will get to work to try to contend when it hosts the 2019 championships.
“I want this to be the biggest event the state has ever seen, from Purgatory to Main Street to the Fort (Lewis College),” Bright said of the 2019 championships. “We need to blow this out and make Durango a destination. We would be looking at roughly 350 skiers and then coaches, drivers and parents on top of that staying in town for three nights at least.”