AHS bids for state skiing championship
Next … state.
The Aspen High School ski team heads into the State Championships, starting today in Vail.
The Skiers will race in eight events at the two-day State Championships. There will be four alpine and four nordic races. Boys and girls will each race in a slalom, a giant slalom, a classic-technique cross-country race and a freestyle cross-country race.
Whichever team compiles the most points in the eight events will be crowned the state champion.
The AHS team continued its winning ways last weekend at the Eagle Valley Invitational at Beaver Creek, picking up combined wins on both the girls’ and boys’ sides of the ledger in the final warm-up before the state championships.
The Aspen boys tied with Summit County for the nordic gold and finished second in the alpine events to win the team title by 20 points over Middle Park. The Aspen girls were third in the nordic races and second in alpine to pull out a 13-point combined win over Summit County.
The results, impressive as they may have been, were par for the course for the Skiers this season. Aspen’s boys have won every nordic event of the year, and the girls have shown steady improvement in nordic events, moving up to third overall at Beaver Creek. In addition, the Skiers have finished a combined first or second in every meet they have entered this year.
Conor Flynn led the way for the Aspen boys in the nordic events, finishing third. RC Walker was fifth, Michael Otte was seventh, Nathan Waldron finished eighth and Travis Mohrman was ninth, as five Skiers placed in the top ten. Franko Peters also skied well for Aspen, finishing 26th.
Jenny Hamilton was tops among Aspen’s girls in the nordic races with a fifth-place finish. Maile Wade was 10th, Paige Elisha finished 19th and Hannah Elisha was 21st.
In the boys alpine event, a slalom race, Aspen placed four skiers in the top 20 out of 108 total participants. Patrick Sewell set the pace with a sixth-place finish, just ahead of teammate Jessie Durrance, who finished eighth. Anton Sponar was 17th, and Charles Greenwood rounded out the strong showings by the Skiers, who finished just a point behind Battle Mountain and Steamboat Springs, which tied for the top overall team honors.
The Aspen girls also competed in a slalom race and finished second overall after having won most of the alpine events this season. Kate Jensen led seven Skiers in the top 29 finishers out of the 66 girls entered in the race. Jensen finished second, just a half-second off the lead time. Ali Crum was ninth, Ashley Cantrell was 10th, Katherine Eastley finished 13th, Noelle Phillips finished 14th, Sascha Anastas was 26th and Allison Eastley finished 29th.
In the State Championships, the team competition is expected to come down to a battle of Aspen, Summit and Battle Mountain.
With last weekend’s races at Beaver Creek the first time this year alpine and nordic events have been held at the same time in the same location, Aspen appears to be primed for this weekend’s action in Vail.
“We could finish second in all eight events and still win the title,” said Aspen coach Mike Flynn.
“Other teams don’t have the same depth. They may be good in alpine but not in nordic, for example. We don’t really have any weaknesses.”
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