Burr and Burton Academy girls win state snowboard title

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MANCHESTER — The Burr and Burton Academy girls' snowboarding team won the state championship on Thursday at Killington.
The girls — Allie Nowicki, Azurah Booth-Gage, Una Langran and Suni Johnson — edged Bellows Free Academy for the title.

The team and coach Jason Thomas returned home Thursday evening and enjoyed the perks afforded BBA's state champion athletes -- a parade through town with a noisy Manchester Fire Department escort, and a climb up the steps to the Seminary Building belfry to ring the school bell.

"It was awesome to get back from last year," said Johnson, a senior. "We had the title last year as well but they recalculated the scores so BFA ended up taking it last year. So to win against them was really awesome ... [it showed] we actually can do it."

BBA and BFA entered Thursday's second day of competition deadlocked, having tied in points for the halfpipe title. That left two disciplines — slopestyle and giant slalom — to decide which school would claim the overall crown.

BBA won the slopestyle crown, as Nowicki added to her first-place finish in halfpipe with another first in slopestyle.

That left giant slalom. It also left BBA with no room for error -- the top three scores count, and officials said Nowicki hadn't qualified to race in the state meet in that discipline. She had only been able to race GS in one event, and though BBA appealed on the grounds that weather cancellations kept her off the mountain, the appeal was denied.

"I felt badly for her," Thomas said, adding that he thinks she would have won the overall individual title had she been allowed to compete in GS.

Things got tense when BFA protested the results of the giant slalom. Booth-Gage had fallen through one of the gates on the course, and Thomas said BFA lodged a protest, contending that Booth-Gage had missed the gate altogether. But that protest was overruled, giving the Bulldogs the state title.

"It's pretty impressive to do what you've done, athletic director Dave Miceli told the team after they arrived back in Manchester. "You came up against a lot of obstacles and you found a way."

Reach Greg Sukiennik at 802-490-6000 or on Twitter @GSukiennik_MJ


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