Aspen skiers score at Sunlight
At the recent J4 Qualifier ski races at Sunlight Ski Area in Glenwood Springs, the alpine team from the Aspen Valley Ski Club battled the elements and over 180 top skiers from Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming, with five of the eight AVSC athletes qualifying for the Junior Olympics coming up later this month in Crested Butte.
The super G event scheduled for Friday had to be canceled when the snow would not let up.
A portion of the skiers were able to complete a morning training run before near-blizzard conditions forced the chief of race to call off the event.
A giant slalom course was then set up to accommodate the skiers as the snow kept falling.
In the end, Aspen’s Elizabeth Woods posted a fourth-place finish with a time of 1:14.11.
Rebecca Peterson from Steamboat took first with a time of 1:09.98. Aspen’s Caitlin Margolin placed 16th, Sydney Cantrell took 21st, and Bo Jaymes Forster captured a 26th.
Aspen’s J4 boys finished Friday’s race with a 16th place by Brandon Briscoe, 30th place by Paul Britvar, 68th by Matt Shifrin and 70th by Spike Lipkin.
Under brighter skies but cool temperatures on Saturday, Aspen’s team took to the long GS course in two races on the Joslin run.
Trailing only Summit County Winter Sports Club’s Kirsten Turner, who captured the gold with a 1:08.78 finish, Woods took silver with a 1:09.09 finish.
In the second run of the day, Turner again recorded a first-place finish of 1:16.06. Woods captured eighth place in 1:18.04.
Sunday’s warm temperatures and cloudless blue skies looked favorably upon Aspen’s skiers.
J4 coach Betsey Reeder worked the J4s hard the previous weekend, and the results showed through. With a slalom course set on the Sun King run, Aspen’s skiers showed who could ski slalom the best in the Rocky Mountain Division.
With a time of 36.20, Woods captured the gold, inching out Peterson (36.29).
Rounding out the pack in the first race were Margolin (16th), Forster (31st) and Cantrell, who placed 37th after a fall.
In the afternoon, three of Aspen’s racers walked away with top 10 finishes.
Woods again captured her second gold with a time of 48.38.
Cantrell captured fifth place with a time of 53.86, and Margolin placed seventh with a time of 54.91. Also having an excellent finish was Forster, who took 18th.
For the J4 boys, the hard practice paid off with Paul Britvar taking away a 14th in the morning and edging up with a 12th-place finish in the afternoon.
Following on Britvar’s heels was Brandon Briscoe with a 16th place in the morning and a 13th in the afternoon.
Rounding out the Aspen team were Jackson Davis with a 59th and 70th, Matt Shifrin with a 54th and 61st and Spike Lipkin with a 70th in the morning and a 57th in the afternoon.
When the results were in for all five races, proud coach Reeder was taking five of her eight charges to the Junior Olympics.
Named to the Rocky Mountain Division team are J4 girls Elizabeth Woods, Caitlin Margolin and Sydney Cantrell and J4 boys Paul Britvar and Brandon Briscoe.
The Junior Olympics will be held March 23-25 at Crested Butte.
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The future of the Aspen-Pitkin County airport took a significant step forward Thursday. Pitkin County commissioners decided 4-1 to accept the recommendation of a community-based committee and leave the runway where it is, a bedrock decision in the long process toward a new terminal and airfield.