AVSC nordic skiers dazzle
The Aspen Valley Nordic Team opened the season last weekend after several postponements due to snow.
The Aspen Valley Ski-Snowboard Club nordic skiers traveled to Breckenridge for a Colorado High School Activities Association event last Friday.
The Aspen boys managed a strong second place behind host Summit High School. Nathan Waldon led the AVSC skiers with a fifth-place finish (17:54) in the 5-kilometer skate race.
Waldron was followed by Travis Mohrman in 10th, R.C. Walker in 11th and Nathan Morse in 12th.
Other AVSC participants included Conor Flynn in 19th, Ben Sadler in 23rd and Michael Otte 28th. A total of 73 skiers participated.
Senior Polly Daniel was Aspen’s only girl participating in the 5K event. She finished 30th in her first cross country race. More than 50 girls participated.
On Saturday, the local junior nordic skiers traveled to Leadville for the first of six Junior Olympic qualifying races.
In the J4 boys, Simi Hamilton won the 2.5-kilometer classic race by more than two minutes. Hamilton was followed by first-year skiers Brandon Cooper in fifth, Tucker Helmus in seventh, David Strickbine in ninth and Spencer Adams in 13th.
In the J3 girls race, Jenny Hamilton won in 11:18. Hamilton was followed by teammates Cori Hach in fifth, Ashley Morse in sixth and Maile Wade in ninth.
Aspen’s Linden Mallory placed third in the J3 boys race, followed by Jon Hatanaka in sixth and Weston Boyles in 13th.
Robin Morse, Aspen’s only J2 girl, placed 10th in a strong field led by top racer Kelly Hughes of the Boulder Nordic Junior Racing Team. Hughes skated the 5K course in 20:04.
Conor Flynn led the AVSC J2 boys with a seventh. Michael Otte followed in 11th and Chris Gold n 15th for the Aspen junior nordic skiers.
Waldron again led the AVSC contingent of J1 boys by placing eighth n the 5K classic. Waldron was followed by Walker (11th), Morse (16th), Mohrman (20th) and Sadler (25).
Daniels finished 16th in the J1 girls race.
The Leadville race also was scored as a CHSAA high school race with Aspen’s boys finishing third, behind Summit and Steamboat Springs.
The Colorado Rocky Mountain School nordic ski team opened the season with a pair of outstanding finishes last weekend at Breckenridge.
The CRMS nordic skiers captured first place in the girls’ team competition and second in the boys’ team races.
The field included 11 teams at Breckenridge.
The 5-kilometer skating race was one of six qualifying races for the CHSAA State Championships.
The 11 CRMS girls entered at Breckenridge represented the largest girls team at the meet and the largest in the history of the CRMS program.
CRMS piled up 172 points with host Summit County second with 156.
Individually, three CRMS skiers qualified for the CHSAA State Championships.
Melody Scheefer of CRMS was the individual race winner in Breckenridge and she earned a berth at state.
Freshman Madde Mancini finished fourth and also qualified for state along with CRMS teammate Avi Scheinbaum, who finished sixth.
Other CRMS skiers included Leona Sondie (18th), Sami Boyle (21st, despite breaking a ski), Jenny Schumacher, Laurel Henderson, Morgan McIntyre, Amanda Munroe, Eleanor Perry and Aurora Palmer.
The girls team win was the best ever for CRMS in CHSAA-sanctioined events.
The CRMS boys tied for second in the 11-team field, only eight points behind Summit County.
Senior August Teague finished second overall. CRMS teammate Max Mancini was eight. Junior Caleb Gaw was 17th in the field of 69 racers. All three qualified for state.
Other CRMS scorers included sophomore Jonas Landes (24th, despite breaking a pole), Peter Olenick and Daniel Abdo.
Boyle and Olenick attend Roaring Fork High School but compete on the CRMS nordic ski team.
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