Local wins slalom state championship

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It was Saturday morning, but Steamboat Springs High School Alpine ski coach Chad Bowdre said Kathleen Lyon was slalom skiing as if she were on a Sunday afternoon drive.

The senior skier agreed with her coach.

"The first run, I was pretty laid back," she said. "I wasn't even nervous. It didn't feel like a race."

Lyon's trademark adrenaline kicked in before the second run, and she overcame a 0.42-second deficit to win a state championship during the slalom race at the 2006 Colorado State Skiing Championships in Winter Park.

"I knew I had to step it up," said Lyon, whose combined time was 1:28.76.

Lyon had a choice to make before Friday and Saturday's state championships: travel to Crested Butte for higher-level FIS races with her Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club teammates or go with Steamboat's high school team to Winter Park.

"I know lots of the team went down to Crested Butte, but I wanted to come help out the (high school) team," Lyon said.

Despite brutal conditions -- Bowdre said it was 27 to 30 degrees below zero -- Lyon found her speed and technique in the second run.

Teammate Hanna Berglund was 17th, Anna Anderson was 19th, Sarah Dixson was 20th, Chrissy Ford was 21st, Jamie Gay was 24th, and Carolyn Chotvacs was 40th.

For the boys, Steamboat's Ramsey Bernard placed sixth in 1:29.70. Aspen's Paul Britvar won in 1:25.88. He also won Friday's giant slalom race. Other Steamboat finishers were Wiley Thayer in seventh, Jimmy Hostetler in 11th, Ryan Coe in 17th, Ben Paley in 25th and Michael Lyon in 46th.

On Friday, Bernard placed eighth in the giant slalom in 2:03.71. Paley was 28th. For the girls, Gay led the way, finishing 15th in 2:12.25. Hanna Berglund was 17th, Carolyn Chotvacs was 19th, Anna Anderson was 23rd and Sarah Dixson was 24th.

Lyon is one of the oldest members of the relatively young Steamboat high school team, so Bowdre was keeping the team's results in perspective.

"I'm definitely very happy with how we did, especially being a young group and not fielding a full team," Bowdre said.

Steamboat's cross-country team took all freshmen to state this year. No one qualified for Friday's classic race at Snow Mountain Ranch, but three Sailors skated in Saturday's freestyle race. Bryce Gordon placed 37th in 18:44.65. Cameron Ost-een was 37th for the girls. Team-mate Michelle Lichtenfels was right behind her in 38th.

Summit's Brittany Perkins won the classic and freestyle races. Aspen's Noah Hoffman also was a double champion.

Summit won the girls and boys team titles.

-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley, call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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