Roaring Fork Series flourishes 20 years later | AspenTimes.com

Roaring Fork Series flourishes 20 years later

AVSC staff report

In the early 1990's, several local prominent alpine skiing professionals collaborated to develop the Roaring Fork Series, a concept cultivated on the premise of making ski racing accessible to athletes throughout the Roaring Fork Valley.

During its inception, everyone from the president of the Aspen Skiing Co. to the general manager of Sunlight Mountain Resort came together in support of the series.

The idea spread like wildfire throughout the community, and within no time, the Roaring Fork Series had a huge backing of companies and individuals who dedicated their time and energy to bringing ski racing to a higher level in the valley.

More than two decades later, the Roaring Fork Series still maintains its mission of providing every child the opportunity to ski race regardless of their financial situation or background.

The Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club, Sunlight Winter Sports Club and Powderhorn Racing Club use the Roaring Fork Series as a way to provide free, high-quality race opportunities for their athletes and alleviating the financial burdens association with traveling and race fees.

"We like the guys from Sunlight and Powderhorn. They work well with us and cooperate. It's nice having them join," said race organizer Pat Callahan of AVSC.

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"It's a good chance for athletes to have a low-stress environment to work out the kinks," Callahan said, adding that the series is beneficial to coaches and race officials as well. "It's good practice for everyone."

Throughout the race series, all athletes performed well and made huge improvements, according to coaches.

"The skills that you see at the last race are so much better than what they've had all year," Callahan said. "All of a sudden, we get to the end of the season, and it's amazing how well the kids ski."

This year's dual slalom course delivered an exciting conclusion to the season, with over 40 athletes from AVSC and SWSC competing last Saturday.

"I think the kids have a lot more fun with this type of event," said Alice Black, AVSC Alpine manager.

The top 10 athletes from each group received a cookie medal courtesy of Paradise Bakery, who generously provided a total of 120 cookies for each race.

The 2016 overall U10 female winner, Zoe Sheldrake of Sunlight, brought home the "Paddy Bear" while AVSC's Eli Cohen won the Roaring Fork Cup.

U.S. Alpine Championships

Galena Wardle, AVSC alumna and U.S. Development Team member, claimed her national title in women's alpine combined at the U.S. Alpine Championships at Sun Valley Resort.

Wardle had a strong performance with a total time of 2:04.44 seconds, rallying in the super-G portion of the event.

IFSA Squaw Valley Nationals

The AVSC Big Mountain ski team traveled to Squaw Valley last weekend for the IFSA Nationals.

The snow conditions were challenging due to high temperatures and rain, resulting in deep slush.

"I think we would've done a lot better if we were skiing on real snow," said Forrest. "What's most important is the kids had such a blast on the trip and just keep thanking me for taking them here and showing them a good time. We all had a lot of good laughs out here. I'm super grateful to get to hang out with all these guys."

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