Ringing in a championship: BBA snowboarding team celebrates crown

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MANCHESTER — The road to the state championship for the Burr and Burton girls snowboarding team took a bit of a detour — to the golf course.

"It was great to have a group of girls come together, they're all friends and a bunch of them played on the golf team in the fall, and they all decided to come out for snowboarding," said coach Paul Kelly. "Some of them had ridden before, but not all of them had competed."

Led by Hannah Callen and Azurah Booth-Gage, the rest of the team included BBA golfers Katherine Christy, Emma Tobin and Grace Sherwood — who finished second in D-II this fall — along with Katie Kelly, Audrey Anglum and Ayden Crispe.

"To see their progression every practice and competition, they did a little better every day," Kelly said. "And to have a leader like Azurah, one of the best in the state to see her ride everyday, we were fortunate to have that."

The team was first in the giant slalom, led by Hannah Callen's win in the event. They were second in the halfpipe behind North Country, then topped the Falcons in the slopestyle event.

Callen and Booth-Gage were third and fourth overall for the individual state championship.

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Callen won the giant slalom with Booth-Gage fifth. In the halfpipe, Booth-Gage was second with Callen fifth. In slopestyle, Callen was third and Booth-Gage fourth.

BBA didn't even realize they had won the title after the state championships were over at Okemo. Officials had named North Country the state champions, but when Kelly received the scoring results, he realized there was an error in the calculations and BBA had taken the title.

"I knew it would be close with North Country, but then I re-checked the math and we had won," Kelly said. "I'm really proud of these girls.

"It was crazy to hear we had actually won," Booth-Gage said. "To do it in my last year is really amazing."

To celebrate, the team had a parade through Manchester and then ran up the senior steps in the Seminary Building to ring the bell.

"It was crazy for us to run up the stairs," Callen said, explaining that only seniors are allowed on the steps, except in instances like Tuesday's celebration. "We were so close in the fall [with field hockey]."


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