MacCarthy, Steitz make top 3

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For the second day in a row, Steamboat Springs skier Sarah MacCarthy was within reach of a state title.

On Friday, the sophomore won the classic race, but Saturday she came just short when Summit County's Brittany Perkins claimed the top spot in the Nordic freestyle race.

"It was hard," MacCarthy said after the race. "This is a very difficult course, but it was still more fun than yesterday when I won the title."

Perkins finished the 5-kilometer course set in the rolling hills at the base of Howelsen in a time of 15 minutes, 31.6 seconds. MacCarthy was second at 15:46.7 with fellow Steamboat skier Korie Steitz third at 16:04.7

Steitz was the defending champion in the event, but a fall in the final section of the race cost her a chance at repeating.

Steamboat's Lisl Pearson also had a strong showing, placing 13th with a time of 17:54.1, and Laura Philip placed 20th at 18:26.3.

Steamboat was the top team in the freestyle event, scoring 166 points, but could not make up the gap created by the Alpine events. Summit finished second in the freestyle with 163 points, and Aspen placed third with 162 points. However, both teams had larger Alpine squads that helped them gain an advantage in Saturday's slalom race.

Summit's Katie Hartman won the slalom Saturday morning with a time of 1:30.5. Middle Park's Raelynn Miller took second, and Vail Mountain School's Courtney Robinson placed third.

Steamboat's Katie Conrath was the top Steamboat finisher, completing the two-run course in a time of 1:43.3 to take 15th. Conrath, who tied Amber Moran for the state's skimeister title, which goes to the best all-round skier, also was 29th in Saturday's Nordic freestyle event.

Both Priska Sorensen and Brittany Lamb skied off course in the first run of the slalom. Lamb did not finish, and Sorensen lost valuable time while hiking back up the course. She finished 44th in the final event.

"We were hoping that we could stay in third," Conrath said after the slalom. "I think we were all pushing to get top finishes, but it just didn't work out."

Thanks to a strong showing in the final two events, Summit held off Aspen in the race for the overall team title. Summit finished with 653 total points to Aspen's 627. Middle Park was third with 615, and Steamboat finished in fourth at 557.

-- To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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