Concord’s Savannah Shannon caps off incredible high school career with Girls’ Alpine Athlete of the Season award

  • Concord’s Savanah Shannon competes at the Division I girls’ Alpine ski championships at Gunstock Mountain in Gilford on Feb. 10. Courtesy photo

Monitor staff
Published: 4/12/2022 4:22:15 PM

Savannah Shannon said that her senior year was a bit of a letdown. However, the Concord High School Alpine skier may have a different definition of success than most.

Shannon won all but one race in the regular season and added a third D-I state championship in the giant slalom. She also qualified for the Meet of Champions for the fourth time and won her fourth Concord Cup. Now added to that list is the Concord Monitor ’s Girls’ Alpine Athlete of the Year award.

So why is Shannon disappointed? Well, if she hadn’t missed the second-to-last gate on first slalom run at states, she would have taken her fourth gold in that event as well. And that single loss in the regular season? She hadn’t had one of those since freshman year.

“Besides (the losses), I’m happy with the way the season one and I also am proud of my team, because until states we were undefeated,” said Shannon.

Shannon clearly judges herself by lofty standards, the standards that she herself set in her spectacular high school career.

“I think it was a letdown because this is my last year and so I want to have the win in both events (slalom and giant slalom). It would have been nice to end on,” said Shannon.

Shannon didn’t get the perfect ending she wanted. But those close to her can easily look at her senior year and find the positives.

“She was a little discouraged because she wanted to make it a perfect record, but the cool thing is, though, she did win the Capital Cup this year, and she won that all four years on the team,” said CHS Alpine coach George Golden. “She made it to the Meet of Champions all four years. I don’t know if there’s been a girl in Division I that’s made the Meet of Champions all four years. I can’t think of any. Definitely there’s never been one in my 22 years coaching Concord High School.”

At the Meet of Champions, Shannon took third in both the slalom and giant slalom. The podium finishes came in a what Golden called the most competitive year in New Hampshire Alpine he’s ever seen.

The results were also good enough to send Shannon to Eastern High School championships. She had qualified for the championships in both her freshman and sophomore years. She would have qualified her junior year, but the event was cancelled due to the pandemic. “There’s never been one that made the Eastern team all four years, And so that’s that’s unbelievable,” said Golden.

The success Shannon has achieved is unparalleled. But Golden said she is just as good a teammate as she is a skier.

“She was a great team leader the whole time,” said Golden. “She’s one of those kids that even though she was the best skier on the team and the best skier in Division I, she never had a chip on her shoulder. She was just she’s very humble, and the other kids on the team, the younger girls and boys, looked up to her, and she gave a lot of advice to the younger kids.”

To Shannon, skiing comes second. Team comes first. Her biggest hangup about the state championship was that she couldn’t help her team more.

“Finding out that I was disqualified because I didn’t hike the gate correctly was kind of a letdown, because I still probably would have helped my team overall,” said Shannon.

Shannon grew up skiing, but the promise of more gold wasn’t what kept her coming back year after year.

“I stayed with it because I enjoy the team aspect of it. Especially in high school because it’s a lot of fun,” said Shannon.

The senior is now beyond her high school skiing days. But she plans on finding another team in college.

“I think I’m going to be skiing like at the club level at whatever college I go to,” said Shannon. “I don’t really know the details of what I’m doing yet next year, but I think that’s what I’m gonna do.”

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