Allen leads Steamboat’s Alpine skiers on first day of state meet |

Allen leads Steamboat’s Alpine skiers on first day of state meet

Luke Graham

Steamboat Springs High School skier Kris Allen competes in the state high school Alpine skiing championship race at Howelsen Hill in Steamboat Springs on Thursday.

— Everything about Steamboat Springs High School senior Kris Allen says wild – from the tears in his ski suit to his go-all-out skiing style.

Of course, there’s also the newest edition. For the Colorado High School Activities Association State Ski Championships, Allen turned his hair into a wavy blond, in-your-face mullet.

He debuted the mullet early Thursday in the 5-kilometer Nordic skate race, but there was only one way he could show his hair off during Thursday afternoon’s Alpine competition: by getting on the podium.

After a first slalom run that put him in fourth place, Allen went wild on his second trip at Howelsen Hill, clocking the second-fastest run en route to a third-place finish.

“I just took it easy,” Allen said. “I tend to over-ski things a lot, go all out and don’t finish. I took it more easy with that mindset.”

Allen’s finish highlighted a superb day and excellent second runs for all of Steamboat’s Alpine skiers.

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Along with Allen, Wiley Thayer went from 12th to seventh after his second run, and Lars Berglund finished 21st.

“It got a lot colder,” Thayer said of the difference between runs one and two. “It was pretty soft, then it got hard. It was a sweet second run.”

Summit’s Zach Fretz finished first, and Jason Gawf of Nederland came in second.

On the girls side, Hanna Berglund paced three top-10 Sailors finishes with a fifth-place run.

Berglund, who was sixth after the first run, used the pristine conditions to her advantage in her second run.

“The first run, I thought I did a lot worse, so sixth was surprising to me,” said Berglund, a junior. “I just wanted to have fun and ski fast. In the back of my mind, my goal was to get towards the top, but I’ve done a lot better since I started having fun.”

Junior Sarah Dixson finished seventh, and freshman Linnea Dixson moved from 11th after her first run to ninth overall.

“Actually, what I told them (after the first run) was they just needed to be solid,” Steamboat Alpine coach Chad Bowdre said. “We score three people. Three per gender. We’ve got three boys and three girls. I said, ‘We just need solid runs out of everyone. Have fun, that’s why we’re here.’ Having fun for these kids is going fast and finishing well.”

Battle Mountain’s Jenny Banner held off teammate Kelly VanHee to win the girls slalom. Summit’s Erin Breslin finished third.

Team results from day one of competition weren’t available as of press time.

The Alpine portion of the state skiing championships continues today at the See Me ski trail on Mount Werner with a giant slalom race. The girls first run starts at 9:30 a.m., followed by the boys. The finals should begin about noon.

– To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229

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