AHS again proves Aspen at center of ski world
While Steamboat Springs apparently holds a trademark on the term “Ski Town USA,” Aspen once again has cause to challenge that claim.Sure, skiing’s legacy is already firmly and deeply rooted here, just as it is in Steamboat. But, as the Aspen High School boys ski team reminded us recently, there’s always room to strengthen and further those roots.The AHS boys, many of whom train with the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club, captured the state high school skiing championship in Summit County on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 18-19. Unlike traditional ski races, where competitors race as individuals against the clock, the high school format emphasizes team performance, with the top three finishers from each team scoring, for their team, in all four disciplines.And after a 5K nordic classic race and a 5K nordic freestyle race at the Breckenridge golf course, and a slalom and giant slalom at Keystone, Aspen’s boys team proved themselves the finest in the Centennial State. Paul Britvar claimed the boys slalom state title along the way.Congratulations are in order for the Skiers, including coaches Mike Flynn and Travis Moore, alpine racers Britvar, Matt Fox, Sam Coffey, Brandon Briscoe, Jackson Davis, Wiley Maple, Whit Fuller, Stephen Buzbee and Dylan Bontempo, and nordic racers Noah Hoffman, Brandon Cooper, Geoff Walker, Ryan Waldron, Barton Tofany, Andrew Preusch, Tyler Baker and Nathan Marrs.The AHS girls, the first team in Colorado to win four consecutive state championships (2000-2003), finished third this year behind Jenny Hearn’s victories in the slalom and GS. The AHS boys also won state titles in 2000 and 2002.That’s seven state championships since 2000. Aspen is producing some darn good skiers.An affirmation in the form of a state title is always nice, but we hope the community recognizes what exactly goes into the sustained success of our racing programs.Take the Wednesday before the state championships. It was a school day. It was also a powder day at Aspen Highlands. A Times scribe was heading out through the Temerity gate when he spotted Matt Fox, a senior on the AHS team and one of the captains. Fox and the reporter were the last two to pile into the snowcat for a lift up toward Highland Bowl.”It’s a school day, right, Matt?”He shrugged, then nodded at all the powder. “Yeah. But … I’m training.”When the cat arrived at the lip of the bowl, Fox was the first man out and the first of the truckload of skiers to reach the top of the bowl. Training, indeed. Oh, and the patrol had just opened the gate to G-8 and G-6?Fox, as it turned out, took third in the GS and fourth in the slalom at the state championships.Go Skiers.
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