Skiing: Tiger skiers shine on first day of state

Through the first day of the NIAA State Skiing Championships at Mount Rose, Douglas High's Crystal Rutledge and Hillary Sapp made a big impression on the rest of the field.

Racers navigated the slalom course Saturday and Rutledge, a junior, made an immediate splash by posting the fastest time in the state with a 36.30-second run.

"She has all of the skills needed to be a champion and she showed everyone today that when they all come together, she can outrace the rest," Douglas girls' coach Christina Brown said. "Everything came together for her on that run."

Rutledge posted another exceptional time on her second run, this time in 36.56 and finished the day in fifth place in the slalom.

"She took a few turns a little wider than she would have liked," Brown said. "She still secured the fact that she is one of the best slalom racers in the area."

Sapp, a sophomore, proved that she excels at two sports in her first race -- skiing and hiking.

Sapp was looking untouchable in her first run until she missed a gate near the end of the course. She kept her head in the competition, hiked as fast as she could and still completed the course with the sixth-fastest time of 37.67.

As a storm began to move in for the second race the conditions looked favorable. Sapp took almost a full second off of her time in the second run and ended the day tied for 9th.

The second day of racing, originally scheduled for Sunday, was moved to the coming weekend due to the excessive snowfall last weekend.

Truckee High School won the team slalom title and took the top three spots in the slalom race led by Michelle Delumya.

A giant slalom champion will be crowned after Saturday's race and the overall points leader after the two-race series will be crowned the state champion.

Rutledge stands 1.44 seconds out of the overall lead while Sapp trails at 2.97 seconds.

The duo was the only athletes from Douglas to qualify for state.


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