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Colbert’s Prep Playbook: A way too early look at RPI standings this fall

Without question, it’s too soon in the fall season to take the current RPI standings seriously. The Rating Percentage Index is a mathematically generated number that needs a lot of data to be accurate and there haven’t been enough games played to pay much attention to it yet.

However, the RPI standings are out there and how can you not at least glance at them? After all, it’s the RPI that will define your season and whether you make the postseason. So, let’s take a much-too-early look at the four fall sports that use the RPI rankings to see how Aspen and Basalt stand. There are a couple of Longhorn teams that should be pretty psyched.

SOFTBALL

At 8-1 overall, Basalt is No. 2 in all of Class 3A. Other than Greeley’s University, which is 12-0 and ranked No. 1, every team in 3A has at least one loss. The Longhorns have been mighty good so far, outscoring teams 103 to 39.

They started hot last season, as well, before injuries sent them into a free fall. The sky seems to be the limit for 2019 should they stay healthy. BHS plays a couple games in Meeker on Tuesday.

Aspen, 0-8 overall, is ranked 35 out of 36 teams in RPI. The Skiers have a home game against Cedaredge on Tuesday afternoon.

FOOTBALL

At 2-0, Basalt football is No. 2 in Class 2A’s RPI this week. By comparison, BHS is No. 9 this week in the media/coaches poll, which actually will factor into playoff seeding to a degree this fall. RPI No. 1 is Sterling (3-0) while Resurrection Christian (1-1) is No. 3, which isn’t too far off the other poll.

Basalt’s big jump up to No. 2 in RPI is one of the outliers. On the flip side, Rifle is only 13 in RPI this week despite being No. 1 in the media/coaches poll after former No. 1 La Junta was knocked off by Alamosa over the weekend.

The Longhorns have spent plenty of time ranked high in RPI the past few seasons, and after handling 3A Battle Mountain on Saturday that doesn’t look to change. Aspen is No. 34 out of 41 teams in RPI this week after its 0-2 start. No reason to fret quite yet, considering the strength of the Western Slope League, but the Skiers will need to start winning soon to remain in the playoff picture.

Basalt plays at Pagosa Springs on Friday, while Aspen heads to Cedaredge.

VOLLEYBALL

Nothing too exciting going on here for our local teams. At 0-2 overall, Aspen has an RPI of 71 out of 73 teams as of Monday afternoon. Roaring Fork (2-3) isn’t much better at 59, while Basalt (2-4) is in at 54. It could be a long season for volleyball in the valley. Cedaredge (5-0), which plays in the 3A WSL with the other three, has an RPI of 5.

AHS plays at Summit on Tuesday night, while Basalt is hosting Grand Valley. The Skiers and Longhorns will meet for the first time this season when they play Thursday in Basalt.

BOYS SOCCER

Again, work to be done for Aspen and Basalt. The Skiers (0-2) are No. 58 out of 59 teams in 3A. Basalt (1-3-1) is 34, at least in striking distance of a playoff spot. But, again, it’s super early in the season so these standings could change in a hurry. Of note, Roaring Fork (4-1) is No. 10 in RPI this week, paired with a No. 5 ranking in the media/coaches poll.

Aspen hosts a very good Delta team Thursday, while Basalt heads to Moffat County that same day.

THE REST

The other fall sports — boys golf, boys tennis and cross country — don’t use the RPI system, for what should be obvious reasons as they are mostly individual competitions. Tennis and XC still have a good chunk of season left, but golf is quickly approaching its finish. About a week from now, on Sept. 25, the Skiers will host their regional tournament at Aspen Golf Club. State golf is Oct. 7 and 8, where I expect Aspen to once again be a title contender.

acolbert@aspentimes.com

Skateboarder Reynolds wins at Park World Championships

Heimana Reynolds of Hawaii and Misugu Okamoto of Japan were the top male and female finishers at the World Skate Park World Championships on Sunday in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

A qualifying event in the new Olympic discipline, the World Skate Park World Championships define park skateboarding competitors’ seeding heading into the 2020 season. In May, the top 20 male and 20 female athletes will be selected to compete in the Olympics, with no more than three athletes per gender representing each country.

The World Skate Park World Championships featured 160 skateboarders from 32 nations. In the men’s final, Brazil qualified four athletes, the U.S. qualified three, and Australia qualified one athlete. On the women’s side, Great Britain and Finland were represented as well as the U.S., Brazil, Australia and Japan.

All eyes were on snowboarder Shaun White, who — in an attempt to cross over to the park discipline of skateboarding for the 2020 Olympics — rode an Open qualifier wild card entry into the quarterfinals and semifinals before being knocked out in advance of Sunday’s final. White finished sixth among Americans, 13th overall.

“I’m very proud of my performance for my first official event,” White wrote in a statement posted Saturday. “I wanna thank the beautiful people of Sao Paulo for coming out, all of my competitors and World Skate for the opportunity!”

Eduardo Musa, president of the Brazilian Skate Confederation, said that getting the World Championships to Brazil was an achievement for his country.

“It is very important to give skateboarders an atmosphere with the warmth of the Brazilian fans in the most important park competition in the season,” he said.

Ayumu Hirano, another snowboarder, who finished silver to White’s gold at the 2018 Olympics, also qualified through to the semifinals, taking 17th overall.

The skateboarding qualification period will end in May with World Skate World Championships events in the park and street disciplines of skateboarding. The top three male and female finishers from those events will receive direct invitations to the Olympics.

Prep briefs: Basalt’s Sierra Bower wins again, Aspen tennis beats Dawson

Basalt’s Sierra Bower wins cross country meet at Gypsum Creek

Basalt High School junior Sierra Bower won yet another cross country race on Saturday when the team competed at the Eagle Valley Invitational at Gypsum Creek Golf Course. Bower won the girls’ race with a time of 18 minutes, 7.2 seconds, which according to the BHS athletic department is a new course record. The Eagle Valley duo of Samantha and Joslin Blair tied for second in 18:31.1.

Bower’s performance helped the BHS girls to a third-place team finish with 83 points. Fruita Monument and Glenwood Springs each finished tied for first with 77 points. Aspen was sixth in the girls’ race with 121 points.

Junior Kylie Kenny led the AHS girls by finishing 11th in 20:12.7. AHS junior Kendall Clark was two spots back in 13th, finishing in 20:25.3. A pair of Basalt freshmen in Sarah Levy (20:25.5) and Katelyn Maley (20:27.4) were 14th and 15th, respectively. AHS freshman Elsie Weiss also recorded a top-20 finish, coming in 19th in 20:44.5.

Neither Aspen nor Basalt recorded a team score on the boys’ side, won by Summit with 68 points. Fruita Monument was second (80) and Grandview was third (81).

Battle Mountain’s Sullivan Middaugh won the boys’ race in 16:45.2., with Summit’s Jeremiah Vaille coming in second place in a close 16:45.3. Sophomore Brenon Reed led Aspen by finishing 53rd in 19:07.9. Basalt junior Noah Allen led the Longhorns, finishing a spot back in 54th in 19:08.4.

Complete results can be found here.

Basalt volleyball beats Olathe; Aspen volleyball falls in three sets at Moffat

The Basalt High School volleyball team earned its second win of the season on Saturday by sweeping through visiting Olathe inside the BHS gymnasium. Set scores were 25-20, 25-21 and 27-25. Basalt, now 2-4 overall, next is scheduled to host Grand Valley on Tuesday.

The Aspen High School volleyball team played Saturday at Moffat County, losing in three sets. Scores were 25-13, 25-11 and 25-17. The Skiers, now 0-2, play Tuesday at Summit. Basalt will host Aspen on Thursday.

Aspen boys tennis beats Dawson to complete perfect week

The Aspen High School boys tennis team played one of its toughest matches of the season on Saturday, beating Dawson 6-1 on the Aspen city courts. The only loss came at No. 1 singles, with Dawson’s Riley Burridge beating Aspen’s Christian Kelly 6-2, 6-4. Aspen’s Alex Mosher and Liam Sunkel won at No. 2 and 3 singles, respectively.

Aspen played Vail Christian on Thursday, winning 7-0, which followed up a 7-0 win over Basalt on Tuesday. On Sept. 6, the Skiers took eighth at the Western Slope Invitational, with Mosher’s runner-up finish at No. 2 singles the best result.

Aspen is next scheduled to host Fruita on Thursday. Basalt tennis is scheduled to host Vail Christian on Wednesday at Crown Mountain Park.

Basalt softball loses for first time in make-up with Conifer

The Basalt High School softball team lost 8-7 on Saturday against Conifer, the first loss of the season for the Longhorns. It was a makeup from the Sheridan softball tournament late last month, with both teams competing in the championship game before an electrical issue forced the postponement.

BHS led that one 3-1 in the third inning before the lights went out, and lost it about two weeks later in the seventh inning.

Now 8-1 overall and ranked No. 5 in Class 3A this week, Basalt is slated to play a doubleheader at Meeker on Tuesday.

Aspen softball (0-8) did not play Saturday. The Skiers next play Tuesday at home against Cedaredge.

Basalt boys soccer plays to draw while Aspen loses in first game after long layoff

The Basalt High School boys soccer team competed Saturday at Strive Prep-Smart Academy in Denver, playing to a 2-2 tie.

The Longhorns gave up the first goal only two minutes into the first half, and allowed the second barely a minute into the second half, part of an overall slow start. BHS rallied to tie the game in the second half with each team having to settle for a draw.

Strive fell to 2-2-1 overall while Basalt moved to 1-3-1 overall with a trip to Moffat County coming up on Thursday.

The Aspen High School boys soccer team played to a 3-0 loss at Monarch on Saturday. It was Aspen’s first game since a 2-1 overtime loss to Basalt in the season opener on Aug. 22. The Skiers (0-2) host Delta on Thursday.

BASALT BOYS GOLF TEAM WINS CEDAREDGE TOURNAMENT THURSDAY

The Basalt High School boys golf team competed Thursday at Cedaredge Golf Club, coming away with a win after shooting a collective 242. Longhorns senior Blake Exelbert was the low medalist, shooting 76, while junior Tyler Sims was fourth after shooting 81.

Eagle Valley was second as a team, shooting 244, while Battle Mountain was third with 260. Eagle Valley’s Jake Crawford was the second individual, shooting 78. Aspen did not compete in Cedaredge.

acolbert@aspentimes.com

Basalt football shuts down Battle Mountain, moves to 2-0 on season

Carl Frerichs was worried about his defense coming into the season, considering it lost so much talent. Maybe not worried, but very much aware of the physical skill sets that graduated and needed to be replaced.

Then came Saturday afternoon when the Basalt High School football coach watched the Longhorns physically dominate visiting Battle Mountain to the tune of a 28-0 win on the BHS field, and nothing seemed all that out of place.

“We lost a lot of good hitters. We lost all of our linebackers, our D-ends — I have one D-end that I moved inside — so I’m really proud of the kids for flying around and they are just playing aggressive football,” Frerichs said. “If they do their jobs we expect good things out of them and they are doing assignment football where good things are happening.”

As it’s been for a few years now, Basalt’s defense was its strength last season, recording five shutouts and holding three others to single digits en route to a 9-2 season and trip to the Class 2A state quarterfinals.

On paper, Saturday’s matchup with the Huskies looked like it would make for a competitive game. Class 3A Battle Mountain entered the game 2-0 with wins over Middle Park (27-23) and Alameda (49-0), but Basalt didn’t let them become much of a factor in the Longhorns’ home opener.

After trading a few early punts, Basalt took a 7-0 lead on a short touchdown run by sophomore Gavin Webb. The halftime score was 14-0 after another short TD run, this time by sophomore Cole Dombrowski in the second quarter.

The second half remained a heavy dose of running the ball and a stifling defense for the Longhorns. Junior quarterback Matty Gillis capped off the first drive of the half with a 1-yard TD run, while Dombrowski scored his second touchdown when he broke loose for a score in the fourth quarter.

“Cole Dombrowski, our running back, ran extremely hard today. I think there was a huge growth from Game 1 to Game 2,” Frerichs said. “The offensive line is coming together. I just feel like both our fullbacks, Gavin and Peter Zimmer, are running really hard. Again, I’m really proud of Matty — zero turnovers. I just think that’s gigantic when he’s getting zero turnovers in those games.”

Dombrowski led the way with 78 yards and two scores on 22 carries. Webb had 45 yards rushing and a score on 10 carries. Gillis was 8 of 18 passing for 108 yards, with senior receiver Jackson Rapaport catching six of those passes for 80 yards.

Battle Mountain’s best drive came late in the third quarter down 21-0 when it was stopped on fourth-and-short at Basalt’s 15-yard-line.

Sophomore Sam Sherry was credited with 12 total tackles (seven solo), while Rapaport and senior Ernesto Lopez had a sack each.

“Penalties are one thing we definitely need to work on. Our kids are definitely playing hard, though,” Frerichs said. “So we’ll look at film and see exactly what it is. But not too disappointed. But against better teams we definitely got to clean it up.”

Battle Mountain (2-1) heads to Moffat County next week, one of Basalt’s 2A Western Slope League foes. The Longhorns (2-0), who beat Olathe 29-7 in their season opener, will travel to Pagosa Springs on Friday. Pagosa is 1-2 after beating Centauri on Friday, 28-20. The Pirates have losses to Durango (47-0) and La Junta (19-7), the defending 2A state champion.

“They are going to be tough,” Frerichs said of Pagosa. “They run the triple option. Truthfully, we are really excited about this win and we’ll start thinking about Pagosa (Saturday night) and (Sunday).”

Aspen played on Friday, losing 42-20 to Meeker to fall to 0-2 overall. The Skiers next play Friday night at Class 1A Cedaredge (1-1).

acolbert@aspentimes.com

Meeker takes down injury-riddled Aspen High football team, 42-20

Down a handful of key playmakers because of injury, the Aspen High School football team faced an uphill battle against Meeker, ranked No. 4 in Class 1A. And much like in last week’s season opener against Bayfield, a 37-20 loss, that grind became too much for the Skiers over a full four quarters.

The Cowboys piled it on late, going on to win 42-20 on Friday on the AHS turf.

“Our kids played hard,” Aspen coach Travis Benson said. “I am tremendously proud of them. They have nothing to hang their hat about. They are playing through adversity right now. They are showing grit.”

Aspen played without starting quarterback Tyler Ward, starting running back Jack Seamans and top receiver Max Ufkes, all sidelined by injury. Senior Jon Haisfield, who also is one of their top receiving options, started at quarterback.

It was an ugly affair to start, with numerous penalties and turnovers highlighting the first quarter, which ended when Aspen fumbled the ball into the Meeker end zone as it was about to take the lead. Scoreless after a quarter, the Cowboys finally found pay dirt when Kelton Turner ran one in from 5 yards out to make it 8-0.

Aspen answered right back when Kip Royer returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown, the 2-point conversion making it 8-all midway through the second quarter. Meeker took the momentum into the locker room, however, after quarterback Ryan Phelan ran for a 4-yard touchdown to make it 16-8 Cowboys at halftime.

“It’s nice to see our kids fight, and fight to the end,” Benson said. “And they did. They are showing a lot of character.”

Trailing 24-8 after a short TD run by Jeremy Woodward to open the third quarter, Aspen’s offense began to answer back. Dillon Hendrickson scored on a short run to make it 24-14 with about five minutes to play in the third, but the AHS defense couldn’t get the stop it needed.

The teams would swap a pair of touchdowns soon after, Aspen’s coming on a 36-yard pass and catch from Haisfield to Noah Akin that made it 30-20 in favor of Meeker after three quarters. The Cowboys put in a couple more scores in the fourth to put the game away.

Meeker, now 3-0, will host Limon next week. Limon (2-0) is ranked No. 1 in 1A this week and is the reigning state champion.

“Meeker is one heck of a football team. There is no question about that,” Benson said. “I’m their biggest fan next week when Limon comes to town. I want them to have the greatest success. They came out and they played hard.”

Aspen (0-2) heads on the road for the first time next week to play at Class 1A Cedaredge.

“It’s guys grinding through and playing for each other. That’s truly what these guys are doing right now,” Benson said. “You start losing a couple of guys here and there, a lot of things change. I don’t care where you are in this state, it changes your team a little bit. We’ll start getting some guys back here soon and start getting things rolling again.”

In other Class 2A Western Slope League games on Friday, No. 3 Delta (2-0) stuck out with a 61-0 win over Salida (0-3). Salida knocked Aspen out of the playoffs a year ago. Moffat County (2-0) rolled to a 42-13 win over Steamboat Springs and Coal Ridge (1-2) lost 7-6 to Hotchkiss.

Rifle (2-0), ranked No. 2 in 2A, had a bye this week. Basalt (1-0) hosts Battle Mountain on Saturday afternoon.

acolbert@aspentimes.com

Aspen volleyball falls in four sets to Roaring Fork in season opener

By the time the Aspen High School volleyball team found a way to dictate the pace of the game, it was too late. Despite a valiant rally in the fourth set, the Skiers lost 3-1 on Thursday to Roaring Fork in what was Aspen’s season opener inside the AHS gymnasium.

“I didn’t expect a perfect start or game to begin with, but how they ended is how they should have started,” first-year coach Brittany Zanin said. “They really were playing the other team’s game and only started setting the pace and setting the tone in the fourth game. And at that point it was just a little too late.”

The Rams, playing for the fourth time already this season, were a little crisper from the start against an Aspen group that had little varsity experience coming in. Despite a quick 2-0 lead in the first set, the Skiers failed to keep up and eventually lost 25-18. They answered in a big way in the second set, winning 25-20 to even the match at a set apiece.

Leading 24-21 in the critical third set, the Skiers squandered a golden opportunity as the Rams scored the final five points to win 26-24 and take the 2-1 lead.

“I’ll take the win all the time, but I think the win was not because of our volleyball,” Zanin said of the third set. “We can play way better than that, and I want to win playing our game, setting our pace with our energy. Not playing off of somebody else.”

Aspen came out flat in the fourth set and trailed 24-8 before the magic kicked in. With junior Meghann Smiddy serving, Aspen ripped off a 13-0 run to pull within three points before the Rams could put the match away.

Roaring Fork improved to 2-2 overall after the non-league win. The Rams also beat Rifle, 3-2, with losses to Telluride (3-1) and Moffat County (3-1).

“I was impressed by them. They were scrappy; they played great,” Zanin said of Roaring Fork. She was equally as impressed with her own team’s effort over that final run. “They are finding a way to talk to each other in a way that’s going to move things forward, which is great. That’s the positive out of this.”

Aspen (0-1) next plays Saturday at Moffat County.

acolbert@aspentimes.com

Football: Aspen, still riddled with injuries, hopes to bounce back against Meeker

With injuries continuing to take the stage, it’ll be next man up for the Aspen High School football team when it hosts Meeker on Friday night.

“It’s a chance for some more guys to get some game exposure and step into roles and step up and get a good feeling,” AHS coach Travis Benson said, “so when we do get healthy people back we have more people to put into the offense and the defense.”

The Skiers (0-1) opened the season last weekend, losing 37-20 to Class 2A powerhouse Bayfield on the AHS turf. Leading 14-7 at halftime against the 2017 state champions, injuries piled up for Aspen in the second half.

The most notable loss was to junior quarterback Tyler Ward, who didn’t play in the second half and will miss Friday’s game against Meeker. Senior Jon Haisfield will start in place of Ward.

“Injuries stacked up on us, and there was also a lot of missed opportunities that we had in the first half as well,” Benson said of the Bayfield game. “I actually, going back and watching film, felt better about it because we had a lot of kids fighting right until the end and playing hard and giving everything they had. In high school football when the momentum switches, it switches usually pretty hard and pretty aggressively.”

Class 1A Meeker (2-0) won’t be an easy task with so many players expected out again for Aspen. The Cowboys are ranked No. 4 in 1A this week and have wins over Hotchkiss (28-7) and Coal Ridge (40-8). One of the best teams in their classification on a yearly basis, they played in the 1A state championship game as recently as 2016, losing to Strasburg in the final. Meeker lost in the state quarterfinals last season, losing to eventual champion Limon.

The Cowboys are led by junior quarterback Ryan Phelan, who is 34 of 50 for 491 yards and five touchdowns with only one interception through two games. He’s also rushed for 57 yards on 13 carries with three more scores.

“Meeker is a great football team. It’s another storied tradition up there,” Benson said. “They have a quarterback that is a dual-purpose guy that can run the ball very effectively and they have a lot of kids that are definitely after something. They’ve made a run at it the last couple of years.”

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday. Aspen played the Cowboys in the 2018 season opener, winning 38-26 in Meeker.

BASALT TAKES ON BATTLE MOUNTAIN IN HOME OPENER

Coach Carl Frerichs didn’t have much to complain about after his Longhorns took down Olathe in their season opener last week, winning 29-7 on the road. Basalt came out of the game healthy, was never really threatened and saw a lot of good things from a backfield that had little varsity experience coming into the season.

“I thought Matty Gillis, for his first varsity start, played really, really well,” Frerichs said of his junior quarterback. “The defense, they really came at us hard so I was really pleased with how he played in his first varsity start. I thought the running backs played well. We did a pretty good job in terms of overall offensively.”

Gillis finished his debut going 12 of 21 for 141 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Sophomore Cole Dombrowski led the BHS rushing attack with 50 yards on 13 carries. Sophomore Gavin Webb had two rushing touchdowns, while senior receiver Jackson Rapaport had six catches for 61 yards and both TD grabs.

Next up, Basalt (1-0) will face a stiffer challenge in Class 3A Battle Mountain (2-0). The teams are set to kickoff at 1 p.m. Saturday on the BHS field.

“Their skills look really good,” Frerichs said of the Huskies. “They changed their offense. They’ve been in the double wing for several years; they are kind of doing more of a spread. They throw a decent amount; a lot more than they were. But it’s kind of like the spread run with some throws in there.”

Basalt played Battle Mountain in Edwards a year ago, winning 47-6. But in 2017 back in Basalt, the teams played one of the more competitive games of the season, BHS prevailing 41-33.

The Huskies have opened 2019 with wins over Middle Park (27-23) and Alameda (49-0). They are getting a few votes to be ranked in Class 3A, while the Longhorns are effectively No. 11 this week in 2A.

“It will definitely be a good test for us,” Frerichs said. “We just jumped on them last year and they never got the momentum going. Because two years ago that was one of the best games of our season.”

ASPEN YOUTH FOOTBALL HOSTING CARBONDALE SATURDAY

Aspen’s youth football teams are set to host the first of two home games this fall on Saturday. The third/fourth-grade team will host Carbondale at 10 a.m. Saturday on the AHS turf, while the fifth/sixth-grade team will play at noon.

Both Aspen teams are 1-0 this season after winning at Glenwood Springs in the openers last weekend. The only other home games for Aspen this season will be Oct. 12 when both teams host Rifle.

Basalt’s youth teams are scheduled to host their first home games next weekend (Sept. 21) against Rifle.

acolbert@aspentimes.com

Aspen Junior Hockey’s Stirling Cup returns with more Olympic players

All six of the United States women’s Olympic hockey teams will be represented this weekend when Aspen Junior Hockey hosts its 19th annual Woody Creek Distillers Stirling Cup. AJH’s second largest fundraiser, the highlight of the festivities will be Saturday’s all-star game at Lewis Ice Arena.

Known for bringing in various National Hockey League alumni each year, AJH executive director Shaun Hathaway changed it up a year ago by bringing in the majority of the 1998 women’s national team to play against the University of Colorado women’s club team. This weekend, CU will return to play a collection of Olympians along with a selection of local talent.

“We couldn’t get the entire ’98 team, but we ended up recruiting some others,” Hathaway said. “Every single Olympic event is accounted for in this roster. It will be kind of fun. It will be a different year.”

Women’s ice hockey made its Olympic debut in 1998, with the U.S. women winning gold. The Americans wouldn’t win gold again until the 2018 Olympics, a team that will be represented this weekend in Aspen when Amanda Pelky hits the ice. Megan Bozek will represent the 2014 Olympic team and Lisa Chesson the 2010 Olympic team.

Other Olympians expected to compete are Colleen Coyne, Lisa Brown-Miller, Tara Mounsey, Sue Merz and Tricia Luoma. Joining them against CU will be local coaches Jennifer Banner, ME Cohan and Mowita Rondeau, as well as AJH alumna Renee Dreher, who played with CU in the all-star game a year ago.

At least three recent AJH alumni are expected to play for the Buffs this weekend.

“It’s pretty cool,” Hathaway said. “I get to announce three of our Aspen alumni on the CU roster this year, which is really exciting.”

The puck will drop at 6 p.m. Saturday and general admission tickets are free. A barbecue will be held beginning at 5 p.m. outside the arena, with on-ice practice beginning at 5:30.

The Stirling Cup concludes Sunday with its annual golf tournament at Aspen Golf Club.

Aspen Junior Hockey’s largest fundraiser will be in October with the 26th annual Fall Faceoff, which is three weekends of youth hockey games featuring more than 80 teams. Returning this fall will be various entities of the Mexico national teams, including its women’s national team. The Fall Faceoff gets underway Oct. 11.

acolbert@aspentimes.com

Aspen Cycling Club results: Snowmass Circuit Race from Sept. 10, 2019

ASPEN CYCLING CLUB — WEEKLY RACE RESULTS

SNOWMASS CIRCUIT RACE

FROM TUESDAY, SEPT. 10, 2019

Mens A (Open) 5 Laps

1 0:45:44 STROKES, Gregory STRAFE

2 0:45:45 PETERSON, Butch RFMBA Trail Agents

3 0:45:50 JACOBI, Kevin Limelight Hotel

4 0:46:54 LEWIS, Joe

Mens B (Advanced) 5 Laps

1 0:48:22 CHERNOSKY, David Sklar Masters Racing

2 0:48:22 KOORN, Jan Pieter Limelight Hotel

3 0:48:23 KLUG, Chris Hub of Aspen

4 0:48:27 ELLIOT, Simon Basalt Bike & Ski

5 0:48:28 SMITH, Larry Waldorf School on the Roaring Fork

6 0:48:29 ADAMS, Casey Basalt Bike & Ski

7 0:48:37 SANTINI, Peter Limelight Hotel

8 0:48:52 MAPLE, Michael Hub of Aspen

9 0:49:14 WILLIAMS, Brian

10 0:49:32 SIRIANNI, Phil Basalt Bike & Ski

11 0:49:37 GOERGEN, Peter Limelight Hotel

12 0:49:52 DIMARIA, Danny Hub of Aspen

Mens C (Novice) 3 Laps

1 0:31:39 CIBULSKY, John Roaring Fork Cycling

2 0:32:12 JOHNSON, Brian Hub of Aspen

3 0:34:52 MURPHY, Mark Basalt Bike & Ski

4 0:37:38 OWEN, Tim

Womens C (Novice) 3 Laps

1 0:34:37 SHAW, Sara Limelight Hotel

Mens Masters (50+) 3 Laps

1 0:30:45 LANDGRAFF, Peter Celebrity/Chalet

2 0:31:34 DIMARIA, Danny Hub of Aspen

3 0:31:37 GIBANS, Jon RFMBA Trail Agents

4 0:31:46 ARMSTRONG, Mike Basalt Bike & Ski

5 0:32:05 RYAN, Chris

6 0:32:18 CHILSON, Chip Aspen Sports Performance/Litespeed

7 0:36:40 GOBA, Agustin

Womens Masters (50+) 3 Laps

1 0:34:07 MELLIN, Heidi Limelight Hotel

Mens Grand Masters (60+) 3 Laps

1 0:31:36 PAUSSA, Jim Hub of Aspen

2 0:31:39 LYONS, Steve Basalt Bike & Ski

3 0:32:19 PIERCE, Danny

Mens Super Grand Masters (70+) 3 Laps

1 0:35:03 CROSS, Ed Limelight Hotel

2 0:35:33 GRICE, John

3 0:35:40 OLENICK, Bob

4 0:38:03 JONES, Larry

Mens Super Grand Masters (80+) 1 Lap

1 0:19:00 HOUOT, Jacques Frenchy No Problem

High School Girls (grades 9-12) 3 Laps

1 0:34:11 HEATH, Megan Basalt High School MTB Team

—Race Marshals: Kristin Heath, Pam Dolby, Matt Dube, Jamie Gunion, Jeff Handwerk, John Grice, Heidi Hoffmann

—Results may also be viewed at www.aspencyclingclub.org. Questions about results should be directed to results@aspencyclingclub.org.

Scott Mercier: Winter is coming, so keep riding while you still can

Fall in the Rockies is glorious. The colors become vibrant and cool nights and warm days make for a wonderful playground.

But I’m not gonna lie. This recent cold snap, and especially seeing new snow, has me a little freaked out. I know we need the moisture and that August was hot, but I am in no way ready for winter. After all, summer only started in late June.

But the coming of winter has me examining my priorities — and riding a bike is right up near the top. And by riding, I mean riding for the joy of riding. This is no time to be suffering and doing intervals; there are no events worth peaking for until spring.

Even the Wednesday night worlds with the Aspen Cycling Club have ended. Butch Peterson took the overall title for the men and Caroline Tory for the women.

This is a time to hit the trails and stop to enjoy every vista; whether it’s the might of Sopris, the majesty of the Maroon Bells or the pristine waters of the Roaring Fork, slow down and enjoy where you are. Don’t worry about a Strava segment or a personal record.

However, I do find myself checking Strava. And my Stava log tells me that I’m way below the miles and hours I rode last year. I’m trying to take my own advice, but it’s hard. For some weird reason I feel like I need to have more hours and miles than I rode last year, and the year before that. I’m like an addict and I just can’t seem to get enough. I have to have more. Of course, chasing hours and PRs is a shell game, but it can also be fun. I did just ‘win’ my first Strava King of the Mountain in several years this week, so I suppose that’s good! As my idol Ricky Bobby would say, “If you ain’t first, you’re last!”

The fall is also a great time to explore and to ride trails that you seldom do. Government Trail is one of my favorite, and I have yet to ride it this year, so it’s probably one I should ride this week rather than next.

New trails are always a good thing to ride. They’re usually a bit rough and force you to slow down. We have a great one that was just finished a few weeks ago in the midvalley called Vasten. It’s 6 miles of single track off the Glassier/Buckhorn trails. It’s a well-built trail that seems to combine old school mountain biking with a bit of flow. Vasten adds 15 to 20 minutes of steady climbing right from the top of Glassier. It meanders through scrub oak and has just the right grade on the climb and enough twists and turns on the descent to force you to pay attention, but still allow you to get enough speed to keep it fun. It’s dual directional, but it seems to ride better clockwise, starting from the top of Glassier.

The views of upper crown mountain from Vasten are fantastic. Stop and check them out. Of course, since it’s a new trail, your chances of getting a Strava KOM are better than average, so you should probably go hard! You can even create your own Strava “segment” if you want.

In a few weeks the Vasten trail, like many in the valley, will be a kaleidoscope of exploding colors. It also needs to be ridden to help pack the dirt and smooth out the trail, so if you’re grabbing something at Whole Foods, bring your bike and ride.

As I write this, the air is warming and it’s a postcard bluebird day. Let’s hope we get a many more days like this before the snow really starts flying. I think I’ll close my laptop and head out on the trail. After all, winter is coming!

Good riding.

Scott Mercier represented Team USA at the 1992 Olympic Games and had a five-year professional career with Saturn Cycling and The U.S. Postal Services teams. He currently works as a private wealth adviser in Aspen and can be reached at scottmercier24@gmail.com.