2 Steamboat skiers finish in top 10 on opening day of state championships | SteamboatToday.com

2 Steamboat skiers finish in top 10 on opening day of state championships

Steamboat Springs' Andrew McCawley makes his way through the snow Thursday during the giant slalom event at the Colorado Satte High School Skiing Championships.

— Evergreen senior R.J. McLennan was the fastest racer on the mountain Thursday morning in the boys giant slalom race — the first event of the Colorado State High School Skiing Championships in Steamboat Springs — but Steamboat's Andrew McCawley and Alex Coffey made sure the hometown fans had somebody to cheer for.

"It could have been better, it could have been worse, but I'm all right with it," McCawley said after his second run in the race, which was held on the All Out ski run at Steamboat Ski Resort. "I still have tomorrow."

Men’s giant slalom results, day one:

1) RJ McLennan, Evergreen — 1:37.77

2) Michael Resnick, Vail Mountain — 1:39.01

3) Trey Thorpe, Aspen — 1:39.92

4) Peer Carnes, Vail Mountain — 1:40.43

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5) Alex Kim, Evergreen — 1:40.46

6) Shane Cole, Vail Mountain — 1:41.03

7) Luke Bailey, Platte Canyon — 1:41.05

8) Andrew McCawley, Steamboat — 1:41.76

9) Alex Coffey, Steamboat, 1:43.07

10) Colin Suszynski, Evergreen — 1:43.53

36) Wyatt Reynolds, Steamboat — 1:52.28

54) Nolan Sankey, Steamboat — 1:58.42

59) Kelly Ryan, Steamboat — 1:59.77

McCawley was the top local finisher in the boys race, placing eighth with a time of 1 minute, 41.6 seconds. His teammate Alex Coffey placed ninth at 1:43.07,

"It was fun racing on our home hill," Coffey said. "I was aggressive and had the mindset to leave it all out on the hill If I could change anything about my race I would just send it more."

Wyatt Reynolds was 36th (1:52.28), Nolan Sankey was 54th (1:58.42) and Ryan Kelly was 59th (1:59.77) rounding out the Steamboat finishers in the race,

But Thursday's race belonged to McLennan, who set the pace in both the first and second runs. His first-run time of 51.60 gave him a slight advantage over Vail Mountain School's Michael Resnick headed into the second.

But McLennan didn't slow down on his second attempt, completing the run in 46.17 to finish with a combined time of 1:37.77. Resnick held on to place second at 1:39.01, and Aspen's Trey Thorpe placed third at 1:39.92.

"It felt great," McLennan said after winning the title. "The snow up top was a little soft, but at the bottom, you could really get on your edge and push it."

Before joining the high school team in Evergreen, McLennan was a member of Team Summit Alpine. As a senior, he decided to compete with the high school team.

"My goal at the beginning of the season was to try to win state for CHSAA ski racing,” McLennan said. "The first run was good, maybe a little slushy, but the second run I was able to put the gas pedal on it."

The Colorado State High School Skiing Championships are a combination of Alpine and Nordic events with the team scoring the most points in both disciplines earning a state title.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966

Men’s giant slalom results, day one:

1) RJ McLennan, Evergreen — 1:37.77

2) Michael Resnick, Vail Mountain — 1:39.01

3) Trey Thorpe, Aspen — 1:39.92

4) Peer Carnes, Vail Mountain — 1:40.43

5) Alex Kim, Evergreen — 1:40.46

6) Shane Cole, Vail Mountain — 1:41.03

7) Luke Bailey, Platte Canyon — 1:41.05

8) Andrew McCawley, Steamboat — 1:41.76

9) Alex Coffey, Steamboat, 1:43.07

10) Colin Suszynski, Evergreen — 1:43.53

36) Wyatt Reynolds, Steamboat — 1:52.28

54) Nolan Sankey, Steamboat — 1:58.42

59) Kelly Ryan, Steamboat — 1:59.77