SKIING - The Pioneers place three among the top 10 in Ashland
by: Juli Churchill, Members of the Sandy boys ski team hoist their hardware at the awards' ceremony Friday in Ashland. The Pioneers beat Summit by almost eight seconds in the final team tally.

The Sandy boys ski team brought home the state ski title, holding off Summit by almost eight seconds Friday, March 2, in Ashland.

The Pioneers were the only team to place three skiers among the top 10 in the combined standings, led by third-place Colby Hopkins. Teammate Erik Vermaas was close behind in fourth place, while Sandy's James Snowbarger finished 10th.

Sandy clinched the team title during Friday's giant slalom competition when Hopkins used a fast second run to overtake Summit's Max Gomber in the standings. Hopkins had the Pioneers' best finish by taking second in Thursday's slalom race.

The Sandy girls finished ninth in the team tally, led by Chelsea Ditmore with a 29th-place effort in the combined standings.

Teammate Keree Smith highlighted the weekend for the Pioneers by putting in the fastest single run during the giant slalom race. She hit the bottom of the course in 46.9 seconds on her second run - more than a full second better than anyone else.

Smith was 17th after her first trip down the mountain, but overtook 10 skiers with her strong finishing run.

Look for extended state ski coverage in the Wednesday, March 7, issue of the Sandy Post.

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