Aspen High ski team sweeps boys and girls state championships in Leadville
Final team results
1. Aspen 650.5
2. Battle Mountain 581
3. Vail Mountain 540
4. Steamboat 533
5. Summit 520
1. Aspen 661.5
2. Vail Mountain 572
3. Battle Mountain 563.5
4. Middle Park 557.5
5. Steamboat 549.5
According to Aspen High School junior Reed Beidleman, hosting the state skiing championships at Ski Cooper near Leadville literally leveled the playing field.
“Ski Cooper was kind of a hard hill to compete at, just because it was so flat,” Beidleman said. “We were kind of not happy with the first run, but just because it was so flat we didn’t really expect it. But it was really fun.”
The Skiers overcame the early surprise and made the most of it down the stretch, sweeping both the boys and girls state titles on Thursday and Friday. It is the eighth state championship for both the AHS boys and girls in school history. The girls last won in 2016, while the boys last title came in 2014.
Both teams took third at the state meet in 2017, held in Steamboat Springs.
“We did feel confident, but we never take anything for granted. We are constantly fighting,” AHS alpine coach Jennifer Morandi-Benson said. “It was hard-fought. We had a challenging season.”
The AHS girls swept the board, scoring the most points in both slalom and giant slalom, as well as in both Nordic races (the classic race was a tie with Vail Mountain). In the end, the Skiers finished with 650.5 points to win the girls title, while Battle Mountain took second (581), Vail Mountain third (540), Steamboat Springs fourth (533) and Summit County fifth (520).
“I can’t believe it. It keeps blowing my mind that we won for both boys and girls,” said senior Devan McSwain, a Glenwood Springs High School student who competes for Aspen. “I definitely thought we had a chance since it’s such a strong group. There were times I was kind of nervous we wouldn’t. But mainly throughout the whole races with the different results we had, I definitely thought we had a good chance of winning.”
Aspen only had one individual race winner from the two-day state championship, and that was senior Chelsea Moore. The future Dartmouth athlete won Thursday’s Nordic classic race, edging out Colorado Rocky Mountain School’s Kate Oldham. Oldham won the skate race on Friday, while Moore was third.
McSwain led the AHS girls alpine team, taking second in the giant slalom and third in the slalom. Junior Levyn Thomas was third for Aspen in the GS, while freshman Edie Sherlock was eighth for Aspen in the slalom.
“(Thursday) was a very long day and very cold,” McSwain said, “but we had good results, so it definitely made it worth it.”
The Aspen boys finished with 661.5 points, followed by Vail Mountain’s 572, Battle Mountain’s 563.5, Middle Park’s 557.5 and Steamboat’s 549.5.
Senior Everett Olson carried the AHS Nordic boys, taking second in the classic and second in the skate. Aspen freshman Noah Forman was third in the slalom while Beidleman was fourth. AHS senior Heath Colon was fourth in the GS, junior Ethan DeMoraes sixth and Beidleman 11th.
“I think of Reed when I think of today in terms of positive attitude and energy and leadership,” Morandi-Benson said of what stood out to her. “Just the boys team as a whole, bringing a super positive attitude and a lot of great positive energy.”
Also of note, Aspen’s Henry Barth was named the skimeister at the state championship, making him the top athlete to compete in both alpine and Nordic events.
“It was great. We were looking out over everyone and cheering and everything. It was awesome,” Beidleman said of being on the podium. “It’s really awesome. We’ve been at it for three years now. We got runner-up first year I did it and we finally won this year.”