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AHS, Aspen Valley Club skiers enjoy weekend of podiums

Aspen Times Staff Report

The Aspen High School boys and girls ski teams have their sights set on Summit County. And vice versa.

At high school races this weekend, the two schools dueled for dominance in the Colorado State Ski League.

Aspen’s boys and girls Nordic teams recorded second-place team finishes in a classic 5k race Saturday at Spring Gulch in Carbondale. Though the results were unofficial yesterday, according to Aspen coach Mike Flynn, it appeared that Aspen was second to Summit in boys and girls.

However, in giant slalom alpine racing at Loveland Saturday, the Aspen girls and boys finished ahead of Summit. The Aspen girls team sped away with a team first-place while the boys took third, ahead of Summit in fifth, unofficially.

“We can see it’s going to be a very close race at the state tournament between Aspen and Summit, but Steamboat Springs is not out of it,” said Flynn, who coach the Aspen teams to combined boys and girls state titles last season. “Last year, nobody really knew how good we were. This year there are no surprises.”

The Aspen High girls alpine team was led by Kate Jensen, who took third out of a field of 100 racers. Aspen’s Ashley Cantrell was 6th, followed by Gillian Hearn in 8th, Kathryn Eastly in 10th, Ali Crum in 15th and Emily Teague in 23rd.

On the boys side, senior Charles Greenwood led the AHS team with a 7th place finish out of 160 racers, followed by Jesse Durrance in 9th and Patrick Sewell in 21st. Results from the Nordic events appear below.

AVSC Nordic skiers bring home eight top-3 finishes

The AVSC Nordic Team competed in the first two Junior Olympic qualifying events of the season this past weekend.

On Friday, the Aspen Valley Ski/Snowboard Club hosted the only Rocky Mountain Division Sprint qualifying race to be held this season. The sprint format is a relatively new event in the Nordic world, it will for the first time be a medal event at the 2001 Junior Olympics to be held in Marquette, Michigan in March.

AVSC Nordic races shined in the field of 175 racers from around the state. Following the preliminary round, J1 skier Michael Otte was in second place among all male competitors while AVSC’s Jenny Hamilton sat on top of the girls overall result.

Advancing through the consolation, semi-final and then the final round to place were J4 Laura Hatanaka who placed 7th overall among J3/J4 Girls. AVSC took top honors in the J3/J4 finals led by first-place finishers Simi Hamilton who edged out AVSC teammate Brandon Cooper in second. Geoffrey Walker, Spencer Adam and Morgan Boyles finished 5th, 8th, and 9th respectively in the final round.

AVSC J2 skier Jenny Hamilton won a spot on the 2001 RMD Junior Olympic team by winning the J2 girls sprint finals. Hamilton was followed by Maile Wade in 5th and Ashley Morse 9th. First-year skier Tae Westcott surprised the field of J2 boys by advancing to the final round and finishing 8th overall. In the JI/OJ classes, Aspen’s Sarah Prudden finish 3rd among the girls, and Michael Otte finished third among the boys just behind Jed Reed of Middle Park.

Spring Gulch qualifier

AVSC Nordic skiers traveled to Spring Gulch on Saturday for the second qualifying event of the weekend.

Windblown snow and difficult track conditions made for difficult skiing in the 5km classic technique event. However, when the snow settled, AVSC skiers again posted some outstanding finishes.

AVSC’s Laura Hatanaka outpaced the rest of the J4 girls field by nearly a minute (16:17) to win her class. First-year team member Kaylee Maykranz finished 5th (19:29) just behind Erin Casey of Durango. Ryan Waldron of Aspen placed 4th in the J4 Boys (18:18) followed by Morgan Boyles in 7th place.

Aspen’s J3 Boys continued where they left off last season as a dominant force in the division placing three in the top-10. Simi Hamilton took the gold in 3km classic race (13:47). Hamilton was followed by teammates Brandon Cooper in 4th, Geoffrey Walker in 7th, Spencer Adams in 15th and Joe Turner in 21st.

The competitive J2 girls class skied a 5k classic race which was again won by AVSC’s Jenny Hamilton in a time of 27:11, edging out Kyrsia Crabtree of Durango. Maile Wade finished 6th, followed by teammates Cori Hach in 10th, Aime Schwartz in 12th, Ashley Morse in 16th and Erin Kiernan in 18th.

AVSC J2 boys battling various ailments still managed some respectable results, led by John Hatanaka in 10th place. Hatanaka was followed by Weston Boyles in 18th and Larkin Flynn in 21st. Tyler Baker, skiing with a broken toe, finished 22nd.

In the JI class, Michael Otte finished 8th, followed by Conor Flynn 12th. R.C. Walker finished 4th among the OJ boys while Aspen’s Sarah Prudden took third for the OJ girl.

AVSC Nordic skiers will travel to Durango in two weeks for the next two Junior Olympic qualifying races.

Freestyle goes big at Winter Park

Aspen Valley Ski/Snowboard Club 14-and-under freestylers opened their season last weekend at a Rocky Mountain Division Devo Freestyle Series event at Winter Park. In the girls J5 category, Whitney Wickes skied to a second.

Jackson Horn captured a fourth in the boys J4 competition, followed by Chris Schumacher in 8th and Reuben Sadowsky in 10th. In the J3 category, Glenn Engleman skied to a fourth, with Andrew Wickes right behind him in 8th.

“It was a good event for our kids to get the experience of competition,” said Eric Knight, AVSC freestyle director. “We had some good results and should see better ones as the season progresses.”


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